Deceased Elmer Street fire victim identified as Alberto Moya-Cuevas from Mexico

This boarded up, vacant  house was set on fire in March. The blaze injured two people, one of which died in the hospital. (Photo taken April 29, 2015 - Penny Ray/Trentonian)

This boarded up, vacant house was set on fire in March. The blaze injured two people, one of which died in the hospital. (Photo taken April 29, 2015 - Penny Ray/Trentonian)

The man who died earlier this month as a result of injuries suffered during an arson fire has been identified as 48-year-old Alberto Moya-Cuevas from Mexico.

Moya-Cuevas is one of two people who were injured March 12 after a boarded up, vacant house was set on fire in the 200 block of Elmer Street. When firefighters arrived on-scene, they found heavy flames venting out of a front bedroom window, and a fire victim was sitting outside of the house. Firefighters later found Moya-Cuevas lying on a mattress in the third-floor attic.

“I only got a quick look at Moya-Cuevas, but it appeared that the majority of the injuries suffered by him was due to heavy smoke,” Chief Michael Welsh said Wednesday morning. “I didn’t really see a lot of blistering or bubbling of his skin, but like I said, I didn’t really get a good look at him.” Read more

Attorneys agree to keep evidence about drugs out of Trenton murder trial

Jurors will never know slain hip-hop artist Jafar Lewis was allegedly gunned down in 2013 over a drug debt.

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Attorneys for both sides agreed to scrub references to a drug debt at the upcoming murder trial of accused killer Wayne Bush. Prosecutors will be allowed to suggest Lewis owed Bush money as a motive for the killing but cannot elaborate beyond that.

Bush, 39, was engaged to a relative of Lewis at the time of the Aug. 23, 2013 murder. He was supposed to go on trial July 6 on charges that he fatally shot Lewis after he believed Lewis stiffed him out of drug proceeds.
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Joseph Gaines was killed over an outstanding drug debt: Prosecutors

Prosecutors believe a former city drug dealer who had reportedly turned his life around to become a mentor for troubled city youth was killed because of an outstanding drug debt.

The revelation came at a hearing Tuesday in the case of alleged killer, Markquice “Tank” Thomas. Read more

Man accused in 2011 murder offered plea deal

A Trenton man accused of fatally shooting city pharmacist Arjun Reddy Dyapa in 2011 must decide whether he is going to plead guilty to an unrelated gun possession charge or take his case to trial, a judge said Tuesday.

Jamar Meyers, 28, has a backlog of cases, prosecutors said. He faces murder, robbery and felony murder in the shooting death of Dyapa, who was shot inside his pharmacy store in April 2011 after he refused to turn over prescription pills during an armed heist, prosecutors said.

Meyers has been incarcerated for four years while awaiting trial on a myriad of cases. Prosecutors’ plea bargain calls for Meyers to admit guilt to weapon possession for a 5-year sentence. He has enough jail credits for a time served sentence. Read more

Trenton man charged with murder offered plea deal

One of two Trenton men accused of gunning down 26-year-old Brandon Nance outside a city bakery in 2013 was offered a plea deal by prosecutors calling for a 28-year sentence.

Dante Alexander

Dante Alexander

Dante Alexander, 31, was indicted earlier this year on counts of murder and weapons offenses after prosecutors said he fatally shot Nance in broad daylight Aug. 29, 2013 in front of Italian People’s Bakery on Butler Street.

Under terms of the plea deal, Alexander would be required to plead guilty to aggravated manslaughter and an unrelated robbery. He would receive a concurrent 15-year sentence on the robbery charge, which stems from a 2013 armed holdup of two Philadelphia residents on Perry Street.
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Unity Walk’ in Trenton to visit sites of murdered victims

Residents gather for a prayer service on the steps of Shiloh Baptist Church on May 1, 2014, in observance of the National Day of Prayer.

Residents gather for a prayer service on the steps of Shiloh Baptist Church on May 1, 2014, in observance of the National Day of Prayer.

Like biblical verses, Rev. Lukata Mjumbe can recite the names of the city’s murder victims, the date they were killed and where.

In an attempt to humanize the victim, the executive director of Urban Mission Cabinet Inc. has made it his mission to learn what he can about the lives that ended too soon.

“I know these names because we pray about them by name when we come together,” Mjumbe said in an interview last week with other community religious leaders. “They’re no longer statistics for us.” Read more

Trenton man indicted in connection with 2014 murder of Keisha Alexander

A man accused of fatally stabbing 49-year-old Keisha Alexander last year has been indicted in connection with the case.

Jorge Rodriguez

Jorge Rodriguez

Jorge L. Rodriguez, 21, is accused of breaking into Alexander’s Edgewood Avenue apartment to commit a burglary and then stabbing her in the process.

According to prosecutors in the case, sometime before 8 a.m. on June 21, 2014, Rodriguez reached through a rear window to Alexander’s apartment and unlocked the back door. He then physically and sexually assaulted Alexander, and then stabbed her with a knife.

Police were dispatched to the apartment after a neighbor called emergency 911 and reported hearing a woman scream. Alexander was pronounced dead at the scene. Read more

Bail upheld for alleged accomplice in Trenton murder

TRENTON >> The attorney for an admitted drug dealer charged as an accomplice to murder rhapsodized at a Tuesday bail hearing about injustice. But prosecutors needed only point to the man’s previous rap sheet in order to convince Judge Robert Billmeier to leave bail unchanged.

Daniel McCargo

Daniel McCargo

Daniel McCargo, 29, who is being held on $300,000 cash-only bail, appeared to have everything going in his favor. His attorney, Maleika Montgomery, argued her client was not as “culpable” as alleged gunman Curtis Grier for the fatal shooting death of 24-year-old Jahmir Hall in April 2014.
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Trenton homicide suspect rejected plea deal that could have freed him

TRENTON >> Prosecutors had offered a Trenton man charged with murder a plea deal that would have led to murder charges being dropped if he agreed to cooperate and testify against his co-defendant, The Trentonian has learned.

Daniel McCargo

Daniel McCargo

The deal undermines Assistant Prosecutor Brian McCauley’s previous assertion after a status hearing earlier this year that Daniel McCargo, 28, is “equally culpable” for the fatal shooting death of 24-year-old Jahmir Hall.

McCauley confirmed such a deal was “floated” to McCargo, who was indicted as an accomplice on counts of first-degree murder, second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon and second-degree certain persons not to possess a firearm.

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Victim of March house fire dies in hospital, death ruled a homicide

A man who suffered burns during a house fire last month died in the hospital Sunday and his death has been ruled a homicide.

The man, whose identity is still not known, suffered extensive burns during a March 12 house fire that occurred in the 200 block of Elmer Street.

“He passed away on Sunday and a post-mortem examination was conducted Wednesday, but he is still a John Doe,” Lt. Steven Varn said. Read more