Retired Trenton cop offended by admitted killer’s cop brutality claim

It wasn’t enough that Robert Bartley shot retired Trenton cop Luddie Austin’s son to death in 2013.

The admitted killer had to get in another shot Thursday at Austin, and his brothers in blue – some of whom have testified at the trial of a man suspected of conspiring with Bartley to kill Austin’s son, 18-year-old James, on Feb. 26, 2013.

(left to right) Amanda Austin holding Jakalya, one of James Austin's twin daughters, Kim Bellamy, and Luddie Austin holding the other twin Janalya.

(left to right) Amanda Austin holding Jakalya, one of James Austin’s twin daughters, Kim Bellamy, and Luddie Austin holding the other twin Janalya.

Bartley, who has accepted a 25-year plea deal from prosecutors for his cooperation, took the stand and testified against his cousin, Raheem Currie.

During his testimony, he was asked about his arrest on the morning of Feb. 27, 2013. He claimed that he was brutalized by police prior to being taken to an interrogation room at Trenton Police headquarters, where he later confessed to the murder.Read more

Admitted killer says cousin knew about gun, told him to bring it in cop son slay

Robert Bartley said his cousin knew about, and saw, his .32-caliber handgun, which he kept stowed away in a shoebox inside the room of the cousins’ home in Trenton.

Bartley, formerly of Chicago, moved to Trenton sometime around 1999, he testified Thursday. At some point, he moved in with his cousin, Raheem Currie, and his girlfriend, Endia Kaver, at a home on the 600 block of Greenwood Avenue.

Wearing a blue and orange polo shirt pulled over his bright orange prison jumpsuit, Bartley offered dramatic testimony that his cousin knew about his gun, asked him to bring it with him to an East State Street home, and brandished it in front of him, on the day Bartley fatally shot 18-year-old James Austin, the fallen son of former city cop Luddie Austin.

Robert Bartley

Robert Bartley

“I pulled my gun out and asked him what he’s trying to do,” said Bartley, prosecutors’ star witness in Currie’s murder conspiracy trial.

Bartley took the stand the same day as another Trenton man who testified about Currie’s possible motive for retaliating against Austin.Read more

Medical examiner says cop’s son went into ‘shock,’ bled out after being shot

A Mercer County medical examiner testified Thursday that a slain city cop’s son was healthy and his body went into shock after he was shot by a city man outside a Trenton home in February 2013.

James Austin, 18, the son of retired Trenton cop Luddie Austin, was shot once in the chest Feb. 26, 2013, outside his girlfriend’s East State Street home, following a fight with another man, Raheem Currie.

James Austin with his twin daughters.

James Austin with his twin daughters.

Currie and his cousin, Robert Bartley, returned to the home with two others minutes after Currie and Austin smashed each other’s car windshields.

Bartley admitted fatally shooting Austin, in pleading guilty to aggravated manslaughter, and is expected to testify this afternoon.

Currie is on trial, accused of conspiring with his cousin to retaliate against Austin, which ended in his death.

Prosecutors called ballistics and medical experts to testify this morning. The ballistics experts examined a .32-caliber handgun and a shell casing recovered at the murder scene and concluded it was came from the handgun used to kill Austin.Read more

Judge shoots down mistrial in Trenton cop son slay case

A judge Thursday morning rejected a request from Raheem Currie’s defense attorney for a mistrial based on testimony from a Trenton Police officer who noted that the victim, James Austin, was the son of a retired police officer.

Currie is being tried for conspiring with his cousin, Robert Bartley, to murder Austin, the slain 18-year-old son of retired city cop Luddie Austin, in February

Raheem Currie

Raheem Currie


“A mistrial should only be granted to prevent an obvious failure of justice,” Judge Pedro Jimenez said. “There has to be clear showing of actual harm.”

The issue revolved around the testimony of Drew Astbury, a K-9 officer from Trenton Police.

Read more

Girlfriends take stand at trial for Trenton man accused in cop son’s death

As she sat in the back seat of a Honda Civic parked outside the home of a retired city cop’s son in February 2013, Endia Kaver admitted to police that she was nervous.

Her boyfriend, Raheem Currie, and James Austin, had been involved in a fight earlier that day. And now they had returned with Currie’s cousin, Robert Bartley, to settle the score.

Kaver, Currie’s longtime girlfriend, remembered thinking to herself, as Bartley stepped out of Honda Civic and informed the group he planned to spray up Austin’s East State Street home, “Lord, don’t let this get out of hand.”

Raheem Currie

Raheem Currie

Testifying Wednesday at Currie’s murder conspiracy trial, Kaver told jurors she had no idea what Bartley meant about spraying up the home of Austin, the slain 18-year-old son of retired Trenton cop Luddie Austin.

“I don’t know what he meant necessarily at the time,” said Kaver, a short, African American woman with long, braided hair that had streaks of red. “I didn’t know [Bartley] had a gun.”Read more

Trenton detective: City man ‘broke down,’ confessed during murder interrogation

The city man who shot a Trenton cop’s son to death in 2013 tried to get a feel for what police knew about his involvement in the crime when he was first interrogated, a retired police detective testified Wednesday.

But by the end of the interrogation, retired Trenton Police detective Gary Britton said, the suspect, Robert Bartley, had confessed to killing James Austin, the son of well-known retired Trenton police officer Luddie Austin.

Robert Bartley

Robert Bartley

“He was not sure what we were able to find out about what happened,” at the Feb. 26, 2013 murder, said Britton, who spent 24 years with Trenton Police until his retirement. “He seemed to be curious about a fight that took place a day before with his cousin. By the end of that, he was completely broken down, sobbing, apologetic, angry that he made the decision that he made.”Read more

Prosecutors say Trenton man conspired to kill Trenton cop’s son

A dispute between a slain Trenton cop’s son and a city man began over shattered car windows.

By the end of it, lives had been shattered.

Raheem Currie

Raheem Currie

James Austin, 18, was shot once in the chest in his East State Street home on the afternoon of Feb. 26, 2013, as his girlfriend looked on helplessly while clutching one of Austin’s twin daughters, prosecutors said in opening statements Tuesday.

Robert Bartley admitted fatally shooting Austin and accepted a plea that calls for him to serve 25 years in prison. He must also testify at the trial of his cousin, Raheem Currie, who faces up to 20 years in prison if he is convicted of conspiracy.

Currie has maintained his innocence, and opposing attorneys delivered sharply different accounts of what happened that day.Read more

Suspected gunman in Army vet’s murder gets new attorney, trial will go forward

Danuweli Keller didn’t call Saul.

He called Mark “Hung Jury” Fury – a man who has represented convicted killer and former Latin Kings leader Jose “Boom Bat” Negrete as well as Isiah Greene, who is accused of gunning down high-ranking Bloods leader Quaadir “Ace” Gurley.

Sporting Kanye West-like aviator shades inside the building, Fury walked through the courthouse to an interview room to speak with Keller prior to a pretrial hearing Tuesday ahead of the September murder trial.

Fury was appointed by the public defender’s office to represent the suspected gunman following a series of lawyer blunders – including the suspension of former attorney Richie Roberts – that left Keller attorney-less.

A second attorney last month withdrew from the case after he told a judge he could no longer represent Keller because his family reneged on fully paying a retainer fee.Read more

Trenton man charged in shooting death of city cop’s son goes on trial this week

The parents of murder victim James Austin share the same birthday – July 13.

They will be in a courtroom that day, when a city man goes on trial for his role in the February 2013 death of their 18-year-old son.

“It’s like an early birthday present,” said Luddie Austin, James’ father and a retired Trenton cop.

Luddie, who turns 47 on Wednesday, and Austin’s mother, Yvonne, have waited more than three years for Raheem Currie to have his day in court.

Raheem Currie

Raheem Currie

Jury selection begins Tuesday, after Currie rejected prosecutors’ final plea offer of 10 years for acting as an accomplice to Robert Bartley.

Bartley admitted fatally shooting James Austin following a dispute between Currie and Austin. It escalated after the men smashed each other’s windshields, prosecutors said.Read more

Trenton man who was set for trial admits to two murders

Alton Jones, the half-brother of the notorious Skillman twins, admitted fatally shooting two teenagers three days apart in accepting a plea that calls for him to spend 38 years in prison, prosecutors said.

Jones must serve 19 years each for the deaths of Rayshawn Ransom and Tierra Green, for a total of 38 years, Assistant Prosecutor Stephanie Katz said.

Ransom was gunned down during a deadly, gang-related shootout that led to convictions of two other Trenton men. Green was shot and killed June 15.

Alton Jones

Alton Jones

In pleading guilty to two counts of aggravated manslaughter, Jones had a stunning change of heart after he had rejected a previous offer of 40 years.

Andrew Duclair, Jones’ attorney, did not return a phone call Monday afternoon requesting comment about the deal.Read more