Posted on August 25, 2010

Teenagers Charged in Murder of Cedarbrook Man, 87

Allison Steele and Robert Moran, Philadelphia Inquirer, August 25, 2010

Two teenagers have been charged with killing an 87-year-old Navy veteran during an attempted robbery last week because he “did not move fast enough,” police said Monday.

The pair, a 14-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl, who is the alleged shooter, are also suspects in as many as five other robberies in the Cedarbrook neighborhood, authorities said, including one that occurred about 40 minutes before George Greaves was killed outside his home.


The two suspects, Von Combs, 14, and India Spellman, 17, live close to Greaves’ neighborhood but did not know him, police said Monday. They were arrested Friday and charged with murder, robbery, and other crimes.


Mathis [Kathy Mathis, a neighbor] was nearby when Greaves was killed around 3 p.m. Greaves had just finished cutting his grass when Spellman and Combs approached him, police said. The teenagers brandished a gun and demanded money, then shot Greaves in the chest.

“From what we can tell, he didn’t move as quickly as they may have wanted him to,” Clark said. “They maybe took that as some type of resisting, or disrespect.”


The teens have been charged as adults. Any person 13 and older who is charged with murder is automatically charged as an adult, but a judge can send any minor into the juvenile system, where the maximum age for incarceration is 21.