Rochester man charged with hatchet murder back in custody after ‘Less is More’ release

Crime

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A Rochester man is facing a second-degree murder charge for the killing of Heather Majors, who died from her injuries after being brutally attacked with a hatchet earlier in July.

According to authorities, 21-year-old Joseph Rivera — who was in custody awaiting eventual prosecution — was released from Monroe County Jail on Tuesday, Sept. 21 as a result of the new “Less is More” law.

Rochester’s Major Crime Investigators were completely unaware of Rivera’s release and later requested the U.S. Marshals Violent Felony Fugitive Task Force to find the suspect and take him back to custody.

Rivera was eventually found on Eastman Avenue around 7 p.m. Tuesday and brought back into custody.

The victim, 47-year-old resident Majors, was attacked in her apartment on July 10th earlier this year. She was rushed to URMC but eventually succumbed to her injuries. Rivera, who had multiple parole violations, was identified as a suspect during the investigation and was remanded in custody until December 2021.

Rivera was arraigned in Rochester City Court Wednesday morning where he pleaded not guilty on the second degree murder charge. He’s being held on no bail no release and is scheduled to return to court Monday, officials from the Monroe County District Attorney’s office said.

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