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Long IslandCrime

Seventh Long Beach teen indicted on felony gang assault in stabbing case pleads not guilty

Haakim Mechan at Nassau County court on Oct.

Haakim Mechan at Nassau County court on Oct. 1 in Mineola.  Credit: Howard Schnapp

The last of seven Long Beach teenagers to be arraigned on an indictment charging felony gang assault after the stabbing death of an Oceanside High School senior pleaded not guilty Monday.

Haakim Mechan, 19, remains free on $25,000 bond and is due to appear next in Nassau County Court in Mineola on Nov. 4.

The grand jury earlier this month indicted Mechan and six other teenagers from Long Beach on second-degree gang assault and misdemeanor assault charges following the Sept. 16 death of 16-year-old Khaseen Morris.

Authorities have said Morris died after suffering a single stab wound to the chest during an after-school brawl at an Oceanside strip mall.

Police initially arrested Tyler Flach, 18, of Lido Beach, in the slaying before a grand jury indicted the teenager on felony charges of second-degree murder and first-degree gang assault, along with misdemeanor assault and weapon charges.

Flach, who is jailed without bail and maintains his innocence, is due to be arraigned Oct. 31.

Now all the Long Beach teenagers, including two 16-year-olds, have pleaded not guilty to the second-degree gang assault allegations at a series of arraignments.

Authorities have said Morris went to the strip mall knowing that the ex-boyfriend of a girl he was friendly with wanted to confront him.

The Morris family has said Khaseen had texted the ex-boyfriend to say he wasn’t dating the girl but had walked her home from a party.

Police have alleged Flach stabbed Morris after he and his friends charged at Morris and his friends.

A 17-year-old male victim also suffered a broken arm and head injury in the fight, according to authorities.

Mechan’s attorney, David Haber, said after leaving court Monday that his client had no prior involvement with the law.

The Mineola lawyer said he was awaiting evidence from prosecutors concerning the specific allegations against Mechan and added his client “was not involved with the incident regarding the deceased.”

Several members of the Morris family attended Mechan’s arraignment and repeated their promise to be present at every court date in the case against Khaseen’s alleged attackers.

“Now it’s time for justice to be served … He was our rock. So we’re not going to stop,” Khaseen’s oldest sister, Keyanna Morris, 30, said of her slain brother outside the courthouse.

Morris, who would have turned 17 this week, was the youngest of four siblings and had started his senior year at Oceanside High shortly before his death after the family relocated from Freeport during the summer.

Prosecutors declined to comment on the case Monday.


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