LaVergne's Cherubin laid to rest, defendants get court date

Photo courtesy of Cherubin family

Yudjy Cherubin, the 17-year-old LaVergne student shot to death of his young siblings during an April 30 robbery, was remembered May 6 during funeral services at the Nashville First Seventh Day Adventist Church.

Fellow students and LaVergne residents honored Cherubin with a vigil on May 4 on the LaVergne High School campus.

The two 17-year-old defendants charged with Cherubin’s murder will face a Sept. 18 plea negotiation date at 9 a.m. before Juvenile Court Judge Donna S. Davenport and will remain in custody until that time, according to Assistant District Attorney Leslie Collum. The juvenile court appointed a public defender for each defendant. The first defendant will be represented by Isaac Callison, assistant public defender. The second defendant will be represented by Murfreesboro attorney Rebecca Lashbook.

The defendants, arrested after 24 hours of intensive investigative work by the LaVergne Police Department, are currently being held in the Rutherford County Juvenile Detention Center after their May 2 detention hearing conducted before Juvenile Court Magistrate Adam Dodd.

“One of the boys has a significant record with us in Rutherford County,” Collum said.

According to police reports, Cherubin had arranged to purchase a cell phone in front of a condominium in the George Buchanan Drive area of LaVergne. The condominium was unoccupied, and the cell phone sale was allegedly a ruse to rob Cherubin of $500. After turning over the money, Cherubin was shot in the face in front of his younger brother and sister, who were in his vehicle.

LaVergne police responded to 9-1-1 calls of a teenager being shot, discovered the gravely wounded Cherubin, pulled him from his vehicle and immediately began CPR, according to LaVergne Police Second-Shift Patrol Sgt. Bob Hayes. LaVergne firefighters then took over lifesaving efforts and were relieved in minutes by Rutherford EMS crews, who transported Cherubin to a local hospital, where the teenager was pronounced dead.

“The brother and sister were not injured, but they were traumatized, perhaps for the rest of their lives,” Hayes said. “They witnessed their 17-year-old brother, with no regard for them or the victim himself, needlessly, recklessly and ruthlessly shot and murdered. They witnessed that, and it’s something they will have to live with for the rest of their lives.”

Cherubin’s friend, Veronique Johnson, who established a fund for his funeral expenses, wrote, “Yudjy was a good friend, a good son and a good brother who got robbed and killed by another 17-year-old teenage boy. He was honest, lived with integrity and strived to do the right thing. His death shocked everyone, particularly his family and church members. His smile and kindness will be missed. His family was not prepared for his tragic death.

The fund for his funeral expenses can be found at bit.ly/2IeoaBV.

Murder cases involving juvenile defendants with aggravating circumstances can be transferred to adult court, at the judge’s prerogative. Regarding a transfer to adult court for teenage defendants approaching 18 years of age and under aggravating circumstances, Collum said, “When there is a death, transfer to adult court is a discussion I will always have with my boss, District Attorney Jennings Jones.”

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