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What you need to know for 06/23/2017

Domestic violence in past of teen accused of Schenectady murder

Domestic violence in past of teen accused of Schenectady murder

Aspects of Raekwon Stover’s past, including a prior allegation of domestic violence by Stover agains
Domestic violence in past of teen accused of Schenectady murder
ReaQwan U. Stover, 19, of 1522 State St., is being charged for the fatal shooting of Medina Knowles, 17, who was shot to death inside her apartment at 524 Schenectady St. on Thursday night. Here he leaves Schenectady Police court on Sunday morning Sep...
Photographer: Marc Schultz

Aspects of Raekwon Stover’s past, including a prior allegation of domestic violence against a different teen, came into focus Monday, two days after police charged Stover with killing his 17-year-old girlfriend.

Stover, 19, appeared in court Monday, during which the judge set a hearing for later this week. The hearing could be canceled is he is indicted by a grand jury before then.

Stover is being held without bail in the shooting of Medina Knowles last Thursday at the 524 Schenectady St. residence she shared with her family. Knowles was the mother of a 2-year-old child.

Authorities continued Monday piecing together what led to the shooting.

Police say Stover and Knowles dated recently, anywhere from a few weeks to two months, and Stover became a suspect early in their investigation. Police continued looking for him until he turned himself in Saturday.

Stover faces one count of second-degree murder in Knowles’ death. He is accused of using a .38-caliber handgun to shoot her in the head.

Police initially identified Stover using a different spelling, “ReaQwan U. Stover.” The charging paperwork for the murder and other counts spells his name “Raekwon U. Stover.”

Stover also faces two weapons possession counts, both related to the handgun police said was used in the killing. He also faces a tampering with physical evidence count for allegedly removing the gun from the scene of the crime.

Police spokesman Lt. Mark McCracken said investigators do not believe Stover forced his way into the apartment, but he would not say how police believe he entered.

Stover made his second appearance in Schenectady City Court Monday afternoon. Judge Mark Caruso formally set a hearing date for Friday, but an indictment would cancel that appearance. Stover continues to be held without bail.

The full details of Stover’s legal past could not be determined Monday, likely complicated by his age.

Newspaper records say he was charged as a 16-year-old in June 2013 with menacing. Details of that case could not be determined. Such misdemeanor charges for 16-year-old defendants often lead to youthful offender status, sealing the record.

Available records show Stover pleaded guilty to a later, 2015 menacing count, one related to a different teenage girl.

In that case, Stover, then 17, was accused of displaying a dark colored long gun, possibly a shotgun, to his then-16-year-old ex-girlfriend in Schenectady in February 2015.

“I’m not finished,” the teen girl quoted Stover as saying, according to papers filed in that case. “I’m coming back.”

Stover’s 2015 menacing plea took into account a later felony firearms possession count, records show.

A main condition of his sentence was to abide by his probation in an Albany County case, records show. Details of the Albany County case, including the underlying allegations and full sentence, could not be determined.

Knowles attended Schenectady High School, the district said Friday.

On Monday, a memorial sat in front of 524 Schenectady St. Votive candles remained lit and stuffed animals paid tribute to Knowles.

Family and friends have set up a GoFundMe page titled “In Loving Memory of Medina Knowles” to help the family. The page had raised $905 by Monday evening.

Reach Gazette reporter Steven Cook at 395-3122, scook@dailygazette.net or @ByStevenCook on Twitter.

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