Police collared a North Philadelphia man Friday who they say killed a Penn State-Abington senior last week. Probation officers said the suspect, who had been placed under house arrest two months earlier, had cut off his electronic monitoring device.
After a tipster called 911, U.S. marshals and police arrested Jeffrey Little, 19, in a bedroom of a friend's home on the 3100 block of North 16th Street in North Philadelphia.
Police say Little shot Mohan Varughese on the afternoon of May 9. Varughese had been visiting his girlfriend, a Temple University student, at a house on Camac Street, a few blocks from the campus.
The couple were sitting on the front steps when Little put a gun to Varughese's face and demanded the keys to Varughese's motorcycle, which was at the curb, police said.
Little, who lived around the corner, then shot Varughese in the chest and cheek for not giving up the keys fast enough, Homicide Capt. James Clark said. He did not take the motorcycle.
Little had been arrested twice in drug cases last year, court records show. In March, he pleaded guilty to drug possession and was placed in a diversionary program aimed at nonviolent drug offenders.
As part of the program, Little was sentenced to six months of house arrest, community service, and two years of probation. He also was ordered to attend outpatient drug treatment.
Little received his electronic monitoring bracelet March 14, said Chief Probation and Parole Officer Robert Malvestuto. The device sends an alert to probation officials if it is removed or if the individual leaves home.
On March 28, probation officials received an alert that Little had cut off his device.
Little was immediately placed on "absconder status," Malvestuto said, and a warrant for his arrest was entered into police and court-date systems.
Probation officials did not visit Little's home after he had cut off his bracelet, Malvestuto said.
"When somebody cuts the strap, the most important thing is getting their arrest warrant into the databases," he said.
Nearly 42,000 people are wanted in Philadelphia on pretrial bench warrants or probation and parole warrants, Malvestuto said. Little's Marvine Street address was not listed in his probationary case file, he said.
Varughese, of Bustleton, had bought his bike with tips earned as a Center City valet. He was due to graduate with a degree in psychology two days after his death. He planned on using his degree to help underprivileged children, one of his professors said.