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Accused killer of Fort Drum soldier claims innocence

Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 10:22 AM EDT
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MORRISTOWN, New Jersey (WWNY) - The man accused of murdering a Fort Drum soldier late last year has reportedly pleaded not guilty in a New Jersey court.

The New Jersey Herald reports that 23-year-old Jamaal Mellish, also a Fort Drum solider, claimed his innocence in a court appearance Thursday.

An 11-count indictment last week accuses Mellish of kidnapping and killing 20-year old Cpl. Hayden Harris in December.

A 16-year-old is also charged in Harris’ death. The Herald reports the teen is the brother of Mellish’s girlfriend. He was taken to New Jersey in January to face murder charges.

Mellish is accused of meeting Harris in mid-December to swap vehicles, but instead kidnapped him after the deal went wrong.

Police have said Mellish and the teen took Harris to a remote part of northern New Jersey, where Harris was shot and killed.

Corporal Hayden Harris
Corporal Hayden Harris(Fort Drum)

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