DA’s Office: Man Who Killed Syracuse Woman Arrested; Also Tried To Kill Man, Set Fire To Car

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- A Syracuse man has been charged with the February murder of a woman on South Salina Street, according to the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office.

The man also was charged with attempted murder for another shooting two hours earlier, according to Melinda McGunnigle, a prosecutor with the DA’s office.

Dennis J. Rice Jr., 19, of Syracuse, is accused of murdering Juanita Schley on Feb. 18 in the 2000 block of South Salina Street, McGunnigle said. He has also been charged with other crimes relating to an alleged crime spree that lasted more than two hours.

Rice has been charged with the following:

  • Second-degree murder
  • Two counts of attempted murder
  • Unauthorized use of a motor vehicle
  • Fourth-degree grand larceny
  • Third-degree arson
  • Tampering with physical evidence
  • Violation of parole

On Feb. 18, Rice stole a car in the 500 block of Wolf Street, McGunnigle said. He used that car to drive to the 400 block of North McBride Street and fired shots at people who were uninjured at approximately 5:30 p.m., she said.

Two hours later, Rice drove to the 2000 block of South Salina Street and fired shots into a car Schley was sitting in, McGunnigle said. Schley was later pronounced dead at Upstate University Hospital, while another man was injured in the shooting, she said.

McGunnigle said the two shootings have been linked by ballistic evidence.

Rice later drove the car to the 600 block of West Newell Street, where he set the car on fire, McGunnigle said.

Rice has been arraigned and is being held without bail or bond, according to an Onondaga County Justice Center inmate database.

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