Mercer County grand jury issues two separate murder indictments

Jonathan Weathers

Jonathan Weathers

A Mercer County grand jury issued two murder indictments last week.

Jonathan Weathers, 26, was indicted on charges of murder, robbery and tampering with a witness in connection with the death of 60-year-old Stephen Merrill.

Weathers is accused of severely beating Merrill during a robbery on August 2, 2016. Merrill was found suffering from a brain bleed, a collapsed lung and multiple broken bones on Lamberton Street around 3 a.m.

Officials say Weathers took Merrill’s wallet, cellphone and Fitbit during the assault.

Merrill died at the hospital a few weeks later. Read more

Man fatally shot while driving in Trenton Thursday night, police investigating

TRENTON >> Mercer County and Trenton Police say that Lewis Young, 30, of Trenton, was murdered while driving in the city Thursday evening.

Young was pronounced dead at Capital Health System-Fuld after a passenger in his vehicle drove him to the hospital. The shooting occured around 8:30 p.m., Young was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital.

County Homicide Task Force and city police are investigating, but no arrests have yet been made.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Mercer County Homicide Task Force at (609) 989-6406. Individuals may also call the Trenton Crime Stoppers tip line at (609) 278-8477. Those wishing to text a tip can send a message labeled TCSTIPS to Trenton Crime Stoppers at 274637.

Trenton Police Sgt. Astbury got ‘startled’ upon finding murdered body in trunk

Sgt. Jason Astbury received awards for valor and merit during a May 2010 police ceremony but was shaken eight months later when he discovered the murdered body of Dardar Paye stuffed inside the trunk of a Buick sedan.

Trenton Police Sgt. Jason Astbury

Trenton Police Sgt. Jason Astbury

“I was startled,” Astbury said Thursday during witness testimony. “I’ve never come across anything like that in my career.”

Astbury found the body in the trunk on Jan. 16, 2011, following an interstate police chase that began in Trenton and ended on Route 1 in Falls Township, Pennsylvania.

Paye, 33, was a U.S. Army veteran and Liberian immigrant who had been shot and killed in the basement of a Monmouth Street home in Trenton before getting placed in garbage bags and stuffed in the Buick’s trunk. Astbury said he had checked the body for a pulse, to no avail.Read more

Teen: I killed Brenda Garzio in Trenton in self-defense following sex act

Jose Garcia

The teenager accused of murdering Hamilton woman Brenda Garzio says he acted in self-defense when he stabbed the 48-year-old victim to death following a consensual sex act they had over Memorial Day weekend in Trenton, according to a statement he gave to police.

Jose C. Garcia, 18, of Hamilton, told police he is the killer responsible for Garzio’s death but framed the May 28 slaying as a justifiable homicide.

“I do believe that there is a self-defense claim here,” Garcia’s lawyer Malaeika Montgomery said in court on Tuesday, adding the violent encounter between her client and the victim began as a sexual romp between two consenting adults.

“After the conclusion of that sex act, the alleged victim in this incident pulled a knife on Mr. Garcia,” Montgomery said. “The alleged victim then attempted to obtain more money from Mr. Garcia for the services that had been provided. Mr. Garcia truly feared for his life and reacted in that particular moment in that situation.”

Detective Michael Castaldo of the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office arrested Garcia last Thursday on murder charges and weapons offenses after reviewing surveillance footage that depicted Garcia fleeing the area where the homicide occurred on the 900 block of South Broad Street — a troubled area that is well-known to police for quality-of-life issues that include prostitution.
Read more

Jury: Dante Alexander is a murderous gunman, William Mitchell is not

Dante Alexander

Dante Alexander

William Mitchell received delayed justice on Wednesday when a jury found him not guilty of murder while Dante Alexander was brought to justice on Wednesday as jurors unanimously convicted him of shooting and killing a Trenton man.

Mitchell, 29, of Trenton, smiled and held his head up high after a jury acquitted him on all charges.

William "Bill Bill" Mitchell

William “Bill Bill” Mitchell

“Yes, you coming home!” one of Mitchell’s loved ones said in the courtroom after 12 jurors unanimously cleared him of murder charges and weapons offenses.

“Free that innocent man!” another loved one shouted.

Indeed, Mitchell was slated to be released after Wednesday’s verdict. He was incarcerated on a high bail at the Mercer County Correction Center on allegations that accused him of shooting and killing 23-year-old Daquan Dowling during a Route 29 drive-by shooting in Trenton on Jan. 30, 2012.Read more

Hamilton woman screams for help, gets stabbed to death in Trenton

A 48-year-old Hamilton woman was stabbed to death on the 900 block of South Broad Street in Trenton on Sunday, May 28, 2017. (SULAIMAN ABDUR-RAHMAN - The Trentonian)

A 48-year-old Hamilton woman was stabbed to death on the 900 block of South Broad Street in Trenton on Sunday, May 28, 2017. (SULAIMAN ABDUR-RAHMAN - The Trentonian)

Blood continued to spill onto capital city streets during this violent month of May as a woman was stabbed to death over the Memorial Day weekend.

Brenda Garzio, 48, of Hamilton, became Trenton’s eighth homicide victim of 2017 late Sunday night. She was screaming for help about 11:10 p.m. on the 900 block of South Broad Street and police quickly found her suffering from multiple stab wounds, officials said, adding the victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

Brenda Garzio

Brenda Garzio

A resident who lives near the murder site said he had heard the woman calling out for help late Sunday night.

“She was saying, ‘Help me! Help me!,’” the resident, who identified himself as Jose, said Monday morning as he was smoking a cigarette on his front porch. Jose was relaxing inside his house at the time of the incident. He said he looked out of his window upon hearing the woman’s loud screams but noted it was too dark for him to see anything. Minutes later, police arrived on the scene, he said, to investigate what turned out to be the city’s third slaying in three weeks.Read more

Female stabbed to death in Trenton

Blood continues to spill onto capital city streets this violent month of May.

A woman was stabbed to death overnight, marking the city’s third murder in three weeks and its eighth homicide this year.

Officials say police received a call regarding a female screaming for help around 11:11 p.m. Sunday. A police spokesperson could not confirm whether the call was placed by the victim or a bystander who heard the screams.

Police were then dispatched to the rear of the 900 block of South Broad Street where they found 48-year-old Brenda Garzio, of Hamilton, suffering from multiple stab wounds.

Garzio was pronounced dead at the scene.

As of now, no one has been arrested in connection with the killing and police do not have a suspect description.

Read full story here.

Trenton’s latest homicide victim was pregnant

The victim who died in the Thursday afternoon wild West Ward drive-by shooting was pregnant.

Manei Glover (submitted photo)

Manei Glover (submitted photo)

Manei Glover, 22, was pronounced dead at Capital Health Regional Medical Center shortly after the grisly 1:40 p.m. shooting on the 100 block of North Hermitage Avenue.  An autopsy performed on Friday confirmed Glover was pregnant at the time of her death, according to the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.

In addition to killing Glover, the shooting incident also wounded two men ages 48 and 74, authorities said. The preliminary police investigation revealed four individuals were sitting inside a minivan with a fifth individual standing near the driver’s side door when another vehicle pulled alongside the minivan and began firing multiple gunshots, according to the prosecutor’s office. Read more

Grand jury indicts alleged killer Briann Lindsey on murder charges

Briann Lindsey

Briann Lindsey

The city woman accused of stabbing her boyfriend to death earlier this year inside their Brookville Commons apartment has been indicted on murder charges.

A grand jury on Thursday handed up an indictment charging Briann Lindsey, 25, of Clearfield Avenue, with one count of first-degree murder, one count of third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and one count of fourth-degree unlawful possession of a weapon, according to the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office. Lindsey remains in custody.Read more

Three people shot, one female dead in drive-by shooting in Trenton

A woman was killed and two men were injured in a drive-by shooting in Trenton. May 25, 2017 (Penny Ray - Trentonian)

A woman was killed and two men were injured in a drive-by shooting in Trenton. May 25, 2017 (Penny Ray - Trentonian)

The crime scene was so fresh, detectives had not yet placed evidence placards throughout the area. But the number of bullet holes in the driver’s side of a Nissan minivan provided enough proof that tragedy had once again struck the capital city. Read more