New York

NYC Stairwell Death of Grammy-Winning Jazz Drummer Lawrence Leathers Ruled a Homicide

A man and woman face first- and second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide charges in the death of Lawrence Leathers

What to Know

  • Grammy-winning jazz drummer Lawrence Leathers was found dead June 2 in a stairwell outside the apartment he shared with a woman
  • Police say Leathers was involved in a physical dispute with a woman he was living with and another man, who placed him in a chokehold
  • Both the woman and the man face charges; police said Tuesday the drummer's death had been ruled a homicide

The death of noted jazz drummer Lawrence Leathers, who was found unresponsive in a stairwell outside a Bronx apartment earlier this month, has been ruled a homicide, police said Tuesday. 

Police had said the 37-year-old Leathers was involved in a physical dispute with a 41-year-old woman, Lisa Harris, with whom he had shared an apartment and a man, 28-year-old Sterling Aguilar.

Cops alleged Harris punched him and Aguilar put him in a chokehold; the medical examiner ruled Leathers was choked to death. He was pronounced dead at the scene June 2. 

Both Harris and Aguilar were arrested the following day on assault charges; People then reported the charges were upgraded to first- and second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, though it wasn't immediately clear Tuesday if they would face additional charges or had entered a plea to the prior accusations. Updated information on attorneys for them also wasn't clear. 

Leathers, a native of Lansing, Michigan, worked on two Grammy Award-winning albums by Cecile McLorin Salvant, who posted a link of Leathers playing on Instagram.

Drummer E.J. Strickland remembered Leathers on Instagram as "one of the most musical, swingingest, honest drummers out there."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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