Trenton man admits to manslaughter for 12 years

Talk about a downward departure.

The plea deal went from 25 years with cooperation for a man charged with murder to a dozen years – without any explanation from prosecutors.

Grady A. Blue III

Grady A. Blue III

Grady Blue III, 23, jumped at the plea deal Friday in Mercer County criminal court.

In doing so, he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of aggravated manslaughter for fatally shooting Naquan Ellis, 23, as he was stood with a group of people outside of the North 25 housing complex in June 2014.

A woman was also hit by gunfire but did not sustain serious injuries.

Blue, who also pleaded to an unrelated gun charge, admitted shooting “recklessly” into the crowd, but didn’t say why or who he was targeting.

Read more

Accused killers caused ‘mayhem’ on Route 29

A defense attorney for one of two suspects charged in the sensational Route 29 Statehouse slay in 2012 put on a “dog food” and pony show in court Tuesday.

Defense attorney Patrick O’Hara attacked prosecutors’ case against murder suspect Andre Romero in his opening statement, telling jurors that no matter how the state dresses it up, they’ll be left with “dog food.”

Murder victim Daquan Dowling

Murder victim Daquan Dowling

“The state has two wonderful cooks,” O’Hara said. “The meal is only as good as the ingredients, and the main ingredient is dog food. You’re gonna wonder how they were ever chefs.”

O’Hara didn’t delve into specifics about why he says his client is innocent of committing the Jan. 30, 2012 murder, which closed down Route 29 for several hours.

The adrenaline-crazed attorney stopped short of bringing a unicorn into the courtroom, to complete the dog food and pony show.Read more

Prosecutors: City man helped set up teen’s murder

A city man is accused of luring another man to his death in a Trenton alley in a heinous city murder potential involving two others, prosecutors said.

Quashawn Emanuel

Quashawn Emanuel

Quashawn Emanuel, 18, admitted to authorities he knew he was helping set up 19-year-old Lance Beckett to be fatally shot on Sept. 18, Assistant Prosecutor Tim Ward said at a bail hearing Tuesday.

Beckett was also apparently stomped out after being shot in an alley on East Stuyvesant Avenue in Trenton’s West Ward.

A 17-year-old boy, also from Trenton, has also been charged in connection with Beckett’s murder.

His role in the brutal slaying remains unclear as his charges are being heard, at the moment, in juvenile court.

Read more

Two teens arrested in Lance Beckett murder

Two teens were arrested in connection with the murder of Lance Beckett in the city’s West Ward last Sunday.

Quashawn Emanuel

Quashawn Emanuel

Acting Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri told The Trentonian that the Homicide Task Force arrested 18-year-old Quashawn Emanuel and a 17-year-old, both of whom are Trenton residents, for the murder on East Stuyvesant Avenue.

The pair was charged with murder, possession of a weapon, and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

Emanuel is currently being held on one-million dollars cash bail. The juvenile is being housed in the Middlesex County Youth Correctional facility.

The victim, Lance Beckett, 19, of Trenton was gunned down on East Stuyvesant Avenue, and according to witnesses at the scene he was stomped after being shot.

So far this year, 21 people have been killed in the capital city, which includes the police-involved shooting death of Alfred Toe and the hit-and-run death of Edwardo Martinez. While the New Jersey State Police Uniform Crime Reporting Unit considers “death by auto” a manslaughter it does not as a homicide statistic.

The Trentonian includes death by auto and justifiable police shootings in its yearly homicide count.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Mercer County Homicide Task Force at (609) 989-6406 or contact the Trenton Police confidential tip line at (609) 989-3663. 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.

Suspected accomplice nears deal in murder of Trenton graffiti artist

A suspected accomplice in the 2013 murder of a Trenton graffiti artist is close to reaching a deal with prosecutors.

Zihqwan Clemens

Zihqwan Clemens

Zihqwan “Woodiey” Clemens, who was charged as an accomplice to the murder of Andre Corbett after he allegedly acted as another man’s wheelman, could reach an agreement with prosecutors as early as this month, officials said Tuesday at a status hearing.

The plea deal is expected to package together the murder case and a probation violation from a drug conviction for which Clemens had received five years at the beginning of the year.Read more

Man shot dead on East Stuyvesant Avenue

A man was shot and killed on East Stuyvesant Avenue. September 18, 2016 (Penny Ray - Trentonian)

A man was shot and killed on East Stuyvesant Avenue. September 18, 2016 (Penny Ray - Trentonian)

A city man was gunned down Sunday afternoon, and according to citizens, there were more than one shooter, one of whom stomped on the victim’s head after he dropped to the ground. Read more

Trenton man accused of murder gets 7 years on gun charge

Drug dealer Daniel McCargo flashed a smile toward the back of the courtroom as he was led out in handcuffs after being sent to prison for 7 years Friday on a gun charge, moments after the grandmother of a murder victim chastised him for playing a role in “destroying” her family’s life.

Daniel McCargo

Daniel McCargo

McCargo, 30, was one of two men charged with the murder of 24-year-old Jahmir Hall, who was gunned down in Trenton in April 2014.

McCargo admitted being armed with a handgun the night Hall was shot to death, but ballistics revealed it wasn’t the handgun used in the murder.

Co-defendant and admitted triggerman Curtis Grier, who is free on $300,000 bail, pleaded guilty in June to a lesser charge of reckless manslaughter, prosecutor spokeswoman Casey DeBlasio said.

Prosecutors will ask a judge to send Grier to prison for 10 years when he is sentenced in October.

His attorney, Robin Lord played coy with a reporter, saying she had “no present memory” of the charge her client pleaded to. She declined further comment.

Read more

Pedestrian hit in Trenton last month dies in hospital

Police investigate a homicide that occurred near Market Street and the Route 1 overpass, Oct. 29, 2014. (Penny Ray - Trentonian)

File photo - Police investigate a homicide that occurred near Market Street and the Route 1 overpass. (Penny Ray - Trentonian)

A city man who was struck by a vehicle last month and left in the street to die has passed away.

Edwardo Martinez, 31, died on August 31, after being hit by a vehicle three days prior. Read more

Trenton gang member may have an alibi for a cold-case killing

A Trenton gang member may have an alibi for a cold-case killing authorities thought they solved.

Notorious crime figure Ronald Smith, a reputed member of the Gangster Killer Bloods who was netted years ago in a big drug bust, may have been on an ankle bracelet that will show he was nowhere near 27-year-old Kevin Thomas when he was gunned down in September 2006, at a street light on the corner of East State and Chambers streets, his attorney said Monday.

Ronald C. Smith

Ronald C. Smith

Thomas was a passenger in a vehicle when a gunman in a dark-colored SUV pulled alongside him and opened fire, killing him and wounding a passenger.

Witnesses came forward pegging Smith as the gunman, but prosecutors have not disclosed a motive in the murder.

Defense attorney Mark Fury said he has identified Smith’s probation officer from 2006, and he is in the process of tracking down crucial alibi information that may ultimately exonerate his client.Read more

Attorney for accused Trenton man suggest cops misidentified killer

A wailing woman denounced a Trenton man accused of shooting a Philadelphia man to death on Halloween in 2014.

Donte Jones

Donte Jones

The woman, who identified herself as the sister of slain 36-year-old Levonza Thompson, shouted as she walked out of court Monday that she knows accused killer Donte Jones fatally shot her brother.

“That b–- killed my brother, man,” she said, wiping tears from her eyes. “We keep coming her for nothing.”

Police have said Thompson was shot multiple times after he and Jones struggled. Jones was found at a home on the first block of Laurel Place, hiding under a pile of clothes in a third-floor attic, prosecutors said.Read more