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UPDATE 5/26/09

From the New York Post

A brilliant scholar from Brooklyn is being eyed as the possible link between a slain pot dealer and three men who killed him in her Harvard dorm last week, sources said.

Chanequa Campbell, 21, has been banned from the campus and told she won’t be graduating with her class next month as authorities continue to investigate the murder of Justin Cosby, her lawyer said.

“I’m hurt and I’m confused,” Campbell told The Post last night. “For me not to be graduating is frustrating.

“Harvard is doing this to me because I’m black, I’m poor and I’m from Brooklyn.”

“This is incredibly hurtful to know it’s only me that has been kicked off campus,” Campbell said. “I’m feeling I’m being scapegoated and I can’t defend myself.”

She admitted to knowing Copney, but only through Smith.

Campbell, who suffers from the autoimmune disease lupus, is a sociology major and National Merit Scholar. She has won scholarships from Goldman Sachs, Coca-Cola and The New York Times.

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Harvard Murder Exposes Campus Drug Trade

UPDATE 5/25/09

From the New York Post

A young Harlem woman who won a scholarship to Harvard was identified yesterday by sources at the university as the girlfriend of the New York City man accused of killing a drug dealer at a campus dorm.

Brittany Smith, 22, has left the Harvard residence hall where the gun used to kill pot dealer Justin Cosby last week had been stashed and is now in hiding until she graduates next week, sources said.

An aspiring lawyer who majored in sociology and minored in African-American studies, Smith “is a very kind, intelligent girl,” a fellow student said.

“She is enormously grounded, and everyone is surprised that she is caught up in this.”

He, another student and a professor said Smith — a 2005 graduate of Frederick Douglass Academy in Harlem who had won a Harvard volunteer award — had been dating accused killer Jabrai Jordan Copney, also of Harlem

From the Boston Globe

A “drug rip-off” over a pound of marijuana and $1,000 in cash led to the fatal shooting this week of a man inside a residence hall at Harvard University, according to Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr.

The victim, Justin Cosby, 21, had been selling drugs to students at Harvard and went to Kirkland House on Monday afternoon with the marijuana and money, Leone said today at a press conference at Cambridge police headquarters. Three men traveled to Cambridge from New York City with the intention of robbing Cosby, he said.

One of the men, Jabrai Jordan Copney, is scheduled to be arraigned today in Cambridge District Court in connection with the killing. The other two men returned to New York City and remain at large, Leone said.

“It was that encounter between the four men that went bad,” Leone said, adding, “The common denominator that led to the intent to rip-off Justin Cosby of both money and drugs was that Justin and Jordan were known to each other through Harvard students.”

Leone did not release the names of the two female students at Harvard who were the nexus between Cosby and Copney. They have not been charged with a crime.

Police recovered one pound of marijuana and $1,000 in cash near where Cosby was shot and have also found the handgun used in the shooting, Leone said. Cosby was shot inside the J entryway of Kirkland House around 5 p.m. After being hit, he ran up Dunster Street to Mount Auburn Street, where he collapsed. He died Tuesday morning in Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

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The Harvard Crimson Reports

A New York City man charged with fatally shooting a 21-year-old man at a Harvard University dormitory is headed to court.

Jabrai Jordan Copney is scheduled to be arraigned Friday in Cambridge District Court on charges of murder, accessory after the fact to murder and possession of a firearm.

Copney is credited with writing the 2004 New Edition song, “Feelin It” along with Ryan Leslie.

Authorities say the 20-year-old Copney turned himself in to police Thursday night.

Justin Cosby, who lived close to campus but did not attend Harvard, was shot in the abdomen Monday while standing on a stairway leading to a common area inside Kirkland House dorm. He died Tuesday.

Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone says Copney was visiting friends at Harvard and that Copney and others confronted Cosby. Leone says Cosby and Copney knew each other.From the Harvard Crimson

Two text messages and an interview with a student obtained by The Crimson today suggest that Justin Cosby, the 21-year old Cambridge man shot in a Kirkland entryway on Monday, may have been involved in drug sales to Harvard students—a development that comes amidst continued public uncertainty over what brought Cosby to the basement of a Harvard residential dorm earlier this week.

The May 5 message appears to be directed specifically to students. “Happy cinco de mayo too all my peoples &congrats on another skool year behind,” it begins. “got some crazy jak herrer bud n some caliMIST best of the best and still those 50s.”

The wording of another message, sent to the Harvard student’s phone on April 20—a date noted by marijuana enthusiasts as an occasion to smoke the drug in celebration—suggests that Cosby may have been selling something to his addressees.

“This text goes too all my peoples happy 420,” it reads. “Im gud allday today just hit me up asap stuffs gunna b goin fast.”

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The Crimson is also reporting that police are looking for 3 men who were seen leaving the crime scene with baseball hats

Editor’s Note

I am from Cambridge where the incident happened and know several people who know Justin Cosby. He is an African American male. There are reports that he was visiting his girlfriend at Harvard and that he was a victim of a robbery.

A 21-year-old man shot inside a Harvard University dormitory Monday while students studied for finals died Tuesday.

Justin Cosby, of Cambridge, was shot in the abdomen late Monday afternoon while standing on a stairway leading to a common area inside the Kirkland House, an undergraduate dorm. He was found outside the building by police.

The dorm has an electronic security system, and Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone said authorities were looking into how Cosby got into the building.

Cosby’s mother, Denise, said her son attended Salem State College. He lived a few blocks from the Harvard campus.

“It’s just so strange. He was fine, healthy yesterday,” Denise Cosby told The Boston Globe. “I just can’t believe my son is not here today. Inside I’m just torn up, I feel like someone has murdered me.”

No arrests had been made by Tuesday afternoon.

Harvard referred all questions to the district attorney. Leone said it appeared the shooting was isolated.

After the shooting, students were told to remain in the dorm for several hours as police interviewed potential witnesses.

Harvard police added security, mainly as a precaution, and students were allowed to move freely inside the dorm Tuesday.

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