Negrete’s old testimony alleges inaccuracies in witness stories, including other gang members

Latin King gang members who testified against their leader couldn’t get his nickname right, let alone a story they gave prosecutors about how they carried out his orders to murder fellow gang members, the defendant said at a past trial.

Jose “Boom Bat” Negrete

Jose “Boom Bat” Negrete

A jury Thursday heard previous testimony of Jose “Boom Bat” Negrete, who is on trial a fourth time for ordering the murder of gang “queen” Jeri Lynn Dotson and a botched attempt on the life of gang turncoat Alex Ruiz.

In his previous testimony, Negrete said his nickname is “Boom Bap,” a moniker he earned as teenager by beating up a bully. Boom Bap are words that appear in cartoon sound clouds when Batman finishes his opponents, the defendant said.

But Negrete denied ordering his henchmen to “finish” Ruiz or Dotson after she witnessed several gang members lure her platonic roommate away from the Chestnut Street home they shared Aug. 30, 2004.

“I’m not a coward,” Negrete previously testified when asked by his former attorney if he ordered Dotson killed. “That’s some coward s–.” Read more

Gun used in Enrico Smalley murder linked to Essex County murder, 2 Trenton shootings

The murder weapon used in last year’s fatal shooting death of Enrico Smalley outside a violence-riddled city bar is linked with a separate homicide in Essex County and two shootings in Trenton, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Prosecutor said shell casings at those scenes ballistically matched ones recovered from La Guira Bar, where authorities say suspected killer Shaheed Brown

Police guard and process the crime scene outside of La Guira Bar where a man was shot and killed on Dec. 13, 2014. (Penny Ray - Trentonian)

Police guard and process the crime scene outside of La Guira Bar where a man was shot and killed on Dec. 13, 2014. (Penny Ray - Trentonian)

opened fire July 12 on Smalley, striking him several times, including once in the head. Smalley was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Authorities have not recovered the murder weapon, Assistant Prosecutor Brian McCauley said, a critical piece of evidence that could be used to possibly tie Brown, 30, to the crimes.

For now, Brown, who pleaded not guilty and rejected a plea offer calling for a 45-year prison term for the murder of Smalley, has not been charged in the Essex murder or city shootings.

As a repeat offender, with convictions for aggravated assault and aggravated arson, Brown faces up to 60 years in prison if he is convicted of murder. He remains jailed on $1 million bail.

Brown was arrested in Newark in August for the death of Smalley who was found on the sidewalk outside of La Guira Bar, on the corner of Poplar Street and North Clinton Avenue. Brown was indicted in November on counts of first-degree murder and weapons offenses.

Prosecutors did not identify the murder victim in Essex County, which took place sometime after Smalley was gunned down. But McCauley said Brown was believed to be in Essex County around the time of the murder. An investigation is ongoing and he did not say whether authorities have enough evidence to pursue charges against Brown. A spokesperson for the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office was not able to provide further information Wednesday.

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Local high school students sit in for transcript testimony in ‘Boom Bat’ trial

They came here to see testimony from witnesses implicating a Latin Kings leader for ordering the brutal 2004 murder of a gang “queen” and attempted murder of a gang turncoat.

But the troupe of high school students in attendance at Jose “Boom Bat” TRT-L-negrete jose 0560Negrete’s fourth murder trial was forced to settle for the disemboweled voice of Latin Kings gang member Rhadames “Havy” Acosta, played by a detective in the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.

Detective Roberto Reyes took the stand once again Tuesday in place of Acosta, who last week said under the threat of contempt he would not testify against Negrete for ordering the execution-style murder of Jeri Lynn Dotson to ensure her silence after she witnessed several gang members lure gang turncoat Alex Ruiz from the Chestnut Avenue home they shared.

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Suspect in 2014 Trenton murder charged in Ewing killing from 2012

A city man already in jail and awaiting trial for a 2014 killing has been charged with murder in connection with another slaying that took place in Ewing in 2012.

Markquice Thomas

Jared Littlejohn, 22, of Trenton, was gunned down and run over with his own vehicle in broad daylight on Sept. 27, 2012 on Parkside Avenue in Ewing, and authorities now say it was 29-year-old Markquice “Tank” Thomas who was responsible for the death.

Littlejohn was abducted from a Ewing supermarket and driven a short distance to the location on Parkside, where he was “assaulted and shot in the head,” according to a press release issued jointly Tuesday by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office and the Ewing police.
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‘Boom Bat’ attorney hints at possibility of fifth trial for ordering murder of former gang queen

Jose “Boom Bat” Negrete’s fourth murder trial isn’t over, and his attorney already raised the specter of a fifth trial Thursday when he renewed concerns his client’s constitutional rights are being trampled so the state can get its so-far elusive conviction.

Safe to say those issues will form the basis of a future appeal attorney Jack TRT-L-negrete jose 0560Furlong will file on behalf of the Latin Kings leader, who is accused of ordering the 2004 murder of gang “queen” Jeri Lynn Dotson and botched murder attempt of gang turncoat Alex Ruiz.

Negrete has already had an 80-year sentence overturned by the appellate court because of jury misconduct.

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Former Latin King gang member testifies at ‘Boom Bat’ trial detailing attack

A former Latin Kings gang member testified Wednesday he overheard Latin Kings leader Jose “Boom Bat” Negrete give a direct order to execute gang turncoat Alex Ruiz whose defection from a rival gang sparked a war.

TRT-L-NEGRETE JOSE 62Roberto “Bam Bam” Rodriguez, 40, recounted for a jury how he and three other gang members were sent Aug. 30, 2004, to the Chestnut Street home Ruiz shared with Jeri Lynn Dotson with the intent of beating him.

All that changed once they arrived.

Rodriguez, once the leader of the Latin Kings who is now free after serving a 12-year sentence in state prison the attempt on Ruiz, said he was within earshot of a phone conversation between Negrete and Esmeraldo “Esmo” Rodriguez, Negrete’s second in command.

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Trenton murder suspect charged with drug possession in jail

A convicted drug dealer accused in last month’s fatal shooting death of 25-year-old Taquan McNeil has been charged with an additional count of drug possession after prosecutors said he was found with drugs inside the county jail.

Naquan Green

Naquan Green

Naquan Green, 26, allegedly shot McNeil three times during a botched drug deal Feb. 15 on the 100 block of Boudinot Street. Superior Court Judge Gerald Council did not impose bail on the new drug charges for Green, who is already being held in lieu of $1.1. million on the murder charge.

McNeil was found face-down in a snow bank and died a short time later after a bullet pierced both his lungs.
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Former Latin King gang member testifies during murder trial about ‘Boom Bat’s’ brutal reign

When Jose “Boom Bat” Negrete was installed as leader of the Latin Kings in the summer of 2004, the group underwent a stark transformation, from a loosely organized group of men who grew up together in Trenton, into a feared street gang, codified by a commitment to crime and caTRT-L-NEGRETE JOSE 62rrying out orders, a former gang member said.

Wilfredo “Hype” Rosa, who spent nearly a dozen years as a Latin King after joining as a teenager, testified Tuesday he also witnessed the evolution of Angel “Ace” Hernandez, from a young boy into a cold-blooded convicted killer serving a life sentence for fatally shooting Latin “Queen” Jeri Lynn Dotson on Aug. 31, 2004.

In chilling testimony, Rosa, now 32, said he and Hernandez visited the woman’s neighborhood hours after Hernandez executed Dotson at point-blank range inside the basement of her Chestnut Street apartment. Hernandez apparently didn’t stir when the duo noticed the area overrun by police officers and cordoned off by yellow police tape.

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Men convicted of killing Tracy Crews in Trenton asking for acquittal, new trial

Two men convicted of fatally shooting convicted drug dealer Tracy Crews during a 2008 botched robbery are asking a judge to render a jury’s verdict moot and acquit them of murder.

William “Paperboy” Brown, 30, and Nigel “Youngin” Dawson, 31, were convicted last month of felony murder, murder, robbery and weapons offenses following a six-week jury trial. They face life in prison when they are sentenced April 10 by Superior Court Judge Andrew Smithson.

Nigel Dawson and William Brown are accused of the 2008 murder of Tracy Crews. (Submitted photos)

Nigel Dawson and William Brown are accused of the 2008 murder of Tracy Crews. (Submitted photos)

Their attorneys argue Smithson’s decision to allow in Crews’ dying declaration biased the jury, especially after a previous judge ruled it was inadmissible.

Steven Lember, Brown’s attorney, wrote in his motion Smithson’s decision “irreparably damaged” the defendants’ right to a fair trial. Anticipating Smithson will deny the motion for acquittal, Lember also requested a new trial.

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Trenton homicide victim identified as 19-year-old Darryl Ford

A Trenton man shot to death Wednesday in the city’s East Ward was parked in a car with two passengers when he was ambushed by a unknown assailant who remains at large, authorities said.

darryl ford

Darryl Ford, 19, was found in the driver’s seat of a green Hyundai Tucson that had crashed into the side of a Hamilton Avenue building suffering from multiple gunshot wounds on the 400 block of Ardmore Avenue after police were dispatched around 8:30 p.m. on a report of gunfire.

Ford was taken to Capital Health Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead less than an hour later, authorities said. He became the city’s second murder in a span of 24 hours after a stretch of nearly a month without a homicide.
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