NYC ‘serial killer’ Harvey Marcelin maintains innocence
Harvey Marcelin, the 83-year-old ex-con accused of killing and dismembering her gal pal, pleaded not guilty at her arraignment on Wednesday.
Marcelin’s attorney Andrew Friedman entered the plea on his client’s behalf during the brief hearing in Brooklyn Supreme Court.
“My client maintains her innocence,” Friedman told Justice Danny Chun.
Marcelin, a transgender woman and two-time convicted killer, appeared in orange prison garb and a long-sleeved jacket, her hands cuffed behind her back. She didn’t speak during the proceedings.
She is facing charges of first and second-degree murder, tampering with physical evidence and concealment of a human corpse in the gruesome slaying of 68-year-old Susan Leyden.
Leyden’s dismembered body parts were found in several locations around Brooklyn earlier this month.
Surveillance footage showed Leyden, who lived in an LGBTQ senior center in Fort Greene, entering Marcelin’s East New York apartment on Feb. 27.
She was never seen alive again.
Prosecutors allege that Marcelin discarded a black shopping bag containing Leyden’s torso later that week. She was also captured on video lugging around a severed leg wrapped in plastic in her motorized wheelchair, police said.
The victim’s head and other limbs were discovered in Marcelin’s apartment, along with blood, cleaning supplies, a hammer and the box of an electric saw, prosecutors said.
Police found one of Leyden’s legs near a garbage can about three blocks from Marcelin’s home on March 7.
Leyden died of “homicidal violence” including blunt force trauma to the head, the New York City Medical Examiner ruled.
She met Marcelin when the two lived in the same Bronx shelter in 2019, but the exact nature of their relationship is unclear.
Marcelin has spent more than 50 years in state prison for two past killings.
She shot and killed her live-in girlfriend, Jacqueline Bonds, inside the couple’s Manhattan apartment in April 1963, and fatally stabbed another live-in girlfriend in 1985 — stuffing her body into a bag dumped near Central Park.
The accused serial killer now faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if she is convicted of Leyden’s murder.
“This shocking and horrific murder ended the life and desecrated the remains of a beloved member of the Brooklyn community, and her family and many friends continue to be in my prayers,” Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said in a statement.
“Few crimes in my long career as a prosecutor rise to this level of extreme depravity, and we will vigorously pursue justice on Ms. Leyden’s behalf.”