Midnight shooting kills Trenton man, leaves another injured

An early morning shooting in Trenton’s West Ward killed one resident and left another man hospitalized in unknown condition.

Michael Monroe, 31, of Rutherford Avenue, was pronounced dead about 12:40 a.m. Saturday after suffering multiple gunshot wounds on the 100 block of Hoffman Avenue, according to the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.

The second victim, a 27-year-old city man, suffered a gunshot wound in the incident and was being treated Saturday at Capital Health Regional Medical Center, authorities said. Read more

Trenton murderer Alberto “Choppy” Lopez gets convicted on all counts

Alberto “Choppy” Lopez has been found guilty on all counts in the murder of 17-year-old Shamere Melvin.

A jury on Thursday handed down the sweeping verdict, convicting Lopez of being the armed robber who shot and killed Melvin in the streets of Trenton nearly five years ago.

Lopez, 21, of Trenton, pointed a handgun at Melvin and fired a single shot into the victim’s forehead about 8:40 p.m. Dec. 18, 2013. The incident occurred on the 300 block of North Clinton Avenue near Trenton Police headquarters back when Lopez was 16. Cops arrested him the following day.

After years of being prosecuted as an adult, Lopez took his case to trial and lost. A jury of his peers convicted him of first-degree murder, first-degree felony murder during the commission of a crime, first-degree armed robbery, second-degree possession of a firearm for unlawful purposes, and second-degree unlawful possession of a handgun. He faces 30 years to life in prison but will likely get sentenced to something on the lower end of the scale due to him committing the murder as a juvenile. Read more

Public defender attacks eyewitness credibility in Alberto ‘Choppy’ Lopez murder trial

Two eyewitnesses watched as Alberto “Choppy” Lopez murdered 17-year-old Shamere Melvin with a single gunshot to the head, the prosecution alleged Tuesday in closing arguments.

But Nicole Carlo, a defense attorney representing Lopez, said the eyewitnesses are “not credible,” suggesting the witnesses either had “distorted memories” or were intentionally lying under oath to avoid implicating themselves in the December 2013 robbery-turned-homicide.

With the defense and prosecution delivering closing arguments Tuesday, Lopez’s fate rests in the hands of a jury that will decide whether he is guilty or not guilty of murder, robbery and weapons offenses in the drug-related slaying that occurred in Trenton’s North Ward nearly five years ago.Read more

Man dies after Route 29 head-on crash

Kenneth McRae

Kenneth McRae

A Burlington man was killed late Saturday night in a head-on crash on Route 29.

Kenneth McRae, 31, died after the crash, which sent three other people to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, including city resident Henry Arevalo-Martinez who has been charged with vehicular homicide.

“It hasn’t been determined yet, but somehow the suspect got on Route 29 going the wrong direction, which caused the head-on crash,” TPD Lt. Darren Zappley said. “Alcohol was probably a contributing factor.” Read more

3 murder trials heating up in Mercer County

Three murder trials are heating up in the Mercer County Criminal Courthouse.

Alberto Lopez, 21, of Trenton, is finally having his day in court after being arrested nearly five years ago and held on $750,000 cash bail on murder charges.

Lopez was 16 when he shot 17-year-old Shamere Melvin in the head during a botched robbery on the 300 block of North Clinton Avenue in Trenton’s North Ward Dec. 18, 2013, prosecutors said. The victim died from his injuries and police arrested Lopez the following day. Read more

Convicted murderer Mada Eoff gets 38 years in Trenton slaying

Convicted murderer Mada Eoff has been sentenced to 38 years of state incarceration for shooting and killing 19-year-old Lance Beckett in September 2016.

Lance Beckett (Facebook photo)

Lance Beckett (Facebook photo)

“Thirty years is real time,” Mercer County Assistant Prosecutor Tim Ward told The Trentonian on Friday, “and that is what he is going to serve before he is eligible for parole.”

Eoff was 17 when he murdered the victim in cold blood. He turned 19 last week.

Mercer County Superior Court Judge Robert Billmeier sentenced Eoff on Friday to 38 years of incarceration and ordered him to serve 85 percent of the sentence behind bars before becoming eligible for parole. Read more

Ann Klein Forensic Center patient indicted in beating death of another patient

TRENTON >> A mentally ill man has been indicted in the death of a fellow Ann Klein Forensic Center patient who was beaten so badly he suffered a brain bleed and a fractured skull, authorities said.

The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office announced the indictment of 51-year-old Dwayne Hester on the charge of aggravated manslaughter in the intentional and unprovoked Feb. 13 attack at the Trenton facility of 55-year-old Daniel Rodriguez.

Hester had already been charged with aggravated assault with intent to cause serious bodily injury in the attack following an investigation by New Jersey State Police Trooper Jared Boyd, who filed the charge Feb. 22.

Hester was indicted on the stiffer charges this week, accused of bludgeoning Rodriguez with his fists and knocking him to the ground which caused him to hit his head and fracture his skull, prosecutors outlined. Read more

Six indicted Trenton double murder of Philadelphia rapper and friend

Top l to r: Lakeisha Hill, Shaquille McNeil, Tashawn Santiago bottom l to r: Cecil Blake, Felicita Gee, Fantasia Gee Photos provided by Mercer County Prosecutors Office

Top l to r: Lakeisha Hill, Shaquille McNeil, Tashawn Santiago
bottom l to r: Cecil Blake, Felicita Gee, Fantasia Gee
Photos provided by Mercer County Prosecutors Office

Six people were indicted for their alleged involvement in the double murder of an aspiring rapper and his friend that also injured a third person, authorities said.

Lakeisha Hill, 29, Shaquille McNeil, 24, Tashawn Santiago, 25, and Cecil Blake, 31, were each hit with charges of murder, attempted murder and weapons offenses.

Felicita Gee, 43, and Fantasia Gee, 24, were indicted on charges of hindering apprehension and giving false information to cops.

Hill and Santiago were indicted on the same charges, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office said, as part of a 14-count indictment handed up by a grand jury this week.Read more

Prosecutors release more footage of Trenton Art All Night shootout

Screenshot of sercurity footage show people scrambling after the shooting at Art All Night in Trenton.

Screenshot of security footage shows people scrambling after the shooting at Art All Night in Trenton.

Footage that appears to be from the surveillance system at the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency shows people scattering in all directions as gunfire erupted in the early-morning hours of June 17 at the Art All Night festival.

The 17-second clip, released Friday by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, doesn’t show the shootout inside the Roebling Wire Works warehouse. But it does capture someone falling to the ground, in the middle of a scrum, after possibly being shot as others scrambled to safety.

The individual on the ground doesn’t appear to be one of the three suspects involved in the shootout.

Others were captured taking cover behind a Miller Lite trailer, as cops ran and took up tactical positions along the building.

The bird’s-eye surveillance appears to be from the building adjacent to the Wire Works warehouse and points toward Dye Street showing the outside of the warehouse and the parking lot.

The prosecutor’s office earlier in the week released several body-camera videos and 911 recordings from the mass shooting that injured at least 22 people, including 17 who suffered gunshot wounds.Read more

Authorities release bodycam footage from Art All Night shooting in Trenton

“He’s shot in the head,” a Trenton cop shouted on disturbing body-camera footage of the June 17 shootout at the Art All Night festival. “Come on. Let’s go. Open the door.”

Officers frantically grabbed the arms and legs of one of the three suspected gunmen, Amir Armstrong, as he lay on the ground of the Roebling Wire Works warehouse where a firefight erupted around 2:45 a.m. Father’s Day, and rushed him to a waiting cruiser parked outside.

The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office released several police body-camera videos and 911 calls Wednesday, in response to public records request from the news media, providing the most in-depth view yet of the chaotic aftermath of Trenton’s mass shooting. Some of the footage was redacted to protect victims’ privacy.Read more