Accused Carjackers Charged With Murdering Kids With SUV Arraigned

One of the alleged carjackers has been placed on suicide watch, sources say

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC10's Matt Delucia talks to neighbors in the Tioga section of the city as they try to come to terms with a deadly carjacking that left three siblings dead. (Published Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014)

    A Philadelphia judge denied bail for the men who authorities say carjacked and sexually assaulted a realtor before crashing her SUV into a family selling fruit on a Philadelphia sidewalk -- killing three children.

    Jonathan Rosa, 19, and Cornelius Crawford, 23, were arraigned early Tuesday morning on 22 counts each. The charges against the two include murder, carjacking, kidnapping, conspiracy, robbery, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and involuntary deviant sexual assault for the alleged crime spree on Friday morning.

    Court records show both men have been remanded to Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Northeast Philadelphia. They are being held without bail.

    Sources within the Philadelphia Prison System tell NBC10.com that Rosa has been placed on suicide watch after his imprisonment. The teen is being held in a rubber room and will undergo a court-ordered psychological evaluation, sources said.

    Jonathan Rosa, 19, and 22-year-old Cornelius Crawford now face 2nd degree murder charges for the Friday morning crime.
    Photo credit: Philadelphia Police

    Rosa’s attorney, Chris Warren, has said his client was haunted by what happened and that he is unable to get the image of 15-year-old Keiearra Williams tumbling over the white SUV’s hood out of his mind.

    Prison sources also say Rosa has made several trips to the facility’s medical unit. They say every time he is moved to and from his cell, the entire facility is placed on lockdown over fears another inmate would try to harm him.

    Williams and her two younger brothers -- 10-year-old Joseph Thomas Reed and 7-year-old Terrence Moore -- were killed on Friday morning when the vehicle, allegedly stolen at gunpoint by Rosa and Crawford, blew a tire and ran them down at the corner of Germantown and Allegheny Avenues in Tioga. They were helping their mother, 34-year-old Keisha Williams, and family friend Thelma Brown, 65, sell fruit to raise money to build a playground at the site.

    Williams was critically hurt and remains in that condition, while Brown is expected to be released on Wednesday.

    These siblings were killed in a deadly carjacking on Friday. They are: 10-year-old Thomas Reed (L), 15-year-old Keiearra Williams (C) and 7-year-old Terrence Moore (R).

    Keisha Williams, 34, was critically hurt after being run down by two alleged carjackers along a Philadelphia sidewalk. Three of her children were killed.
    Photo credit: NBC10.com

    Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams said Rosa and Crawford also sexually assaulted the carjacking victim before crashing the car with her inside. That woman remains hospitalized as well.

    Crawford, according to court records, has spent five years in prison for a robbery when he was a young teen. He will be assigned a public defender for this case, the latest records show.

    While the suspects remain locked up, a memorial continues to grow in Tioga. Family and friends plan to hold a vigil at the crash site at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

    Grief counselors will be on hand at the Friendship Christian Church, near the crash site, for those in need of someone to speak with.

    The community organization EducationWorks, a non-profit that is located across the street from the crash scene, has started collecting donations on behalf of the victims. Officials say the three siblings have participated in the organization's after-school and summer programs.

    As for who will receive the $110,000 in reward money, that remains unclear.

    Philadelphia Police Homicide Captain James Clark said Rosa's mother was offered the money, since she helped turn her son in to police, but wanted nothing to do with it.

    City officials say once a decision is made homicide detectives will provide the tipster's information to Mayor Michael Nutter's office which will then handle handing out the reward.

    NBC10's Christine Maddela, Lu Ann Cahn and Rosemary Connors contributed to this report.


    Contact Vince Lattanzio at 610.668.5532, vince.lattanzio@nbcuni.com or follow @VinceLattanzio on Twitter.