The music world was stunned with the tragic news that 37-year-old jazz drummer Lawrence Leathers was found dead in a stairwell on Sunday after being engaged in an apparent domestic violence incident.
Police say Leathers was discovered unconscious in the stairwell of his Bronx apartment and was pronounced dead at the scene.
“Sterling Aguilar, 28, and Lisa Harris, 41, were arrested Monday in connection with Mr. Leathers’s death. According to the police, Ms. Harris lived in the same building as Mr. Leathers.”
ABC7-NY reports, “Police say he was involved in a dispute with his girlfriend, 41-year-old Lisa Harris, who also lives in the apartment when 28-year-old Sterling Aguilar put Leathers in a chokehold as Harris punched him in the head and sat on his chest.”
Harris and Aguilar are being charged with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.
Mr. Leathers “was a rising talent on New York’s straight-ahead jazz scene and had played on two Grammy-winning albums.” He studied and performed with a number of seasoned musicians, including famous trumpeter Wynton Marsalis.
Leathers won two Grammy Awards while drumming for singer Cecile McLorin Salvant as a member of the Aaron Diehl Trio. Salvant paid his condolences via Instagram.
As family and friends begin their mourning, details of the alleged homicide are slowly trickling in.
According to the New York Post, “Leathers and Harris, 41, were celebrating her college graduation at a barbecue Sunday when Leathers stormed back home — and later texted her, saying he was upset and alleging she was unfaithful to him, sources said.
‘Harris then went back to the couple’s pad on East 141st Street before noon with Aguilar to pick up her kids and belongings, sources added.
"But once back home, Harris and Leathers began fighting. Aguilar, 28, tried to intervene, but Leathers allegedly place him in a chokehold, police sources said.
“Harris allegedly freed Aguilar by repeatedly punching her boyfriend in the face, before Aguilar held Leathers down until he passed out.
“Harris and Aguilar then allegedly dumped Leathers’ unconscious body in the second-floor stairwell, where he was later declared dead, sources said.”
The Lincoln Center, where Leathers frequently performed issued a statement about Leathers’ untimely death.
“JALC joins the jazz community in mourning Lawrence Lo Leathers.
"From performances including Jazz for Young People concerts in Rose Theater, to memorable sets in The Appel Room, to Late Night Sessions at #Dizzys, he brought his spirit to all our stages.”
Leathers had reached a point inches career when he was ready to give back to the community.
“I want to be playing, man. I want to travel, I want to create music,” he said. “I want to put smiles on people’s faces, frowns on people’s faces, I want to teach, man I want to give back. That’s, to me, being successful.”