DA Vance: Career Criminal Sentenced to 52 Years-to-Life in Prison for Violent Rampage in Central Harlem


January 5, 2017

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the sentencing of EDWARD MAJOR, 57, to 52 years-to-life in state prison for attacking three women in Central Harlem in 2015. On November 1, 2016 a New York State Supreme Court jury found MAJOR guilty of Burglary and Robbery in the First Degree, Attempted Assault in the First Degree, and Assault in the Second Degree and Third Degree, among other charges. 

“This defendant brutally attacked three different women in less than an hour across four city blocks,” said District Attorney Vance. “Edward Major has violent felony convictions dating back to the 1980s, and our City is safer with him off of the streets. I thank the survivors in this case for summoning the courage to testify, and my Office’s prosecutors for ensuring this defendant can’t harm innocent New Yorkers again.”

As proven at trial, at approximately 7:45pm on April 1, 2015 on West 111th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue in Central Harlem, MAJOR passed a 34-year-old woman on the street and struck her in the face, knocking her to the ground. MAJOR then yelled at her while she lay on the street and struck her in the face once again. The victim stood up and attempted to call the police, but MAJOR followed her down the street. She was eventually able to flee him and call 911.

Approximately 40 minutes later, MAJOR followed a 59-year-old woman into the lobby of her apartment building on Saint Nicholas Avenue, less than a block away from the first attack. As the victim was opening her mailbox, MAJOR punched her in the head, knocking her to the ground. While the victim lay on the floor of the lobby, the defendant continued to punch and kick her in her head repeatedly. MAJOR then stole her backpack containing her money, credit cards, and medication, and walked away. When the victim was able to stand up, MAJOR came back and attacked her again. She later fled to her apartment and sought medical treatment, having suffered extensive bruising to her face and body.

Approximately ten minutes after the second attack, MAJOR jumped out from behind a parked car on West 112th Street, near Frederick Douglass Boulevard, and attacked a 45-year-old woman, repeatedly punching her in the upper body and face, and knocking her to the ground. He continued kicking her while she lay on the street. Passersby intervened and called the police, and MAJOR fled the scene. This victim suffered a broken nose from the attack. 

About 20 minutes later, plainclothes police officers patrolling West 111th Street overheard the description of the perpetrator on their radios, spotted the defendant, and arrested him. 

Assistant District Attorneys Philip Gary and Amy Gordon prosecuted the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Eugene Porcaro, Chief of Trial Bureau 30; and Executive Assistant District Attorney John Irwin, Chief of the Trial Division. Chief of Courtroom Technology John Wolfstaetter, Media Services Technicians Jervaun Higgs and Warren Sell, Technology Analyst Jorge Miranda, and Trial Preparation Assistants Timothy Davis and Kaitlin O’Donnell also assisted with the case.  

District Attorney Vance thanked the NYPD, specifically, Detective James Thomas of the Midtown North Detective Squad, Police Officer Bradly Kucyk of the 34th Precinct Detective Squad, Sergeant Ramon Polanco of Police Service Area 7, Police Officer Michael Duffy of the 28th Precinct, Police Officer Oskar Rodriguez of the 28th Precinct, Police Officer Whitney Martin of the 32nd Precinct, and Sergeant Angel Velez of the Critical Response Command for their assistance with the case. 

Defendant Information:

EDWARD MAJOR, D.O.B. 08/23/1959
Manhattan, NY

Convicted: 
•    Burglary in the First Degree, a class B felony, two counts
•    Robbery in the First Degree, a class B felony, one count
•    Attempted Assault in the First Degree, a class C felony, two counts
•    Robbery in the Second Degree, a class C felony, one count
•    Assault in the Second Degree, a class D felony, two counts
•    Attempted Assault in the Second Degree, a class E felony, one count
•    Assault in the Third Degree, an A misdemeanor, one count

Sentenced:
•    52 years-to-life in state prison