Trenton murder victim diagnosed with a mental illness was repeatedly robbed by ‘street hustlers’

Kevin Smith stands near a makeshift memorial he built for Rodney Burke. Nov. 9, 2014 (Penny Ray - Trentonian)

Kevin Smith stands near a makeshift memorial he built for Rodney Burke. Nov. 9, 2014 (Penny Ray - Trentonian)

Rodney Burke lived in housing provided by Greater Trenton Behavioral Healthcare and he was moved to South Broad Street about a month before he was murdered.

Burke, 48, used to live on Hamilton Avenue, where store owners and a small community of street hustlers did their best to protect him from harm. But when he moved to South Broad Street, Burke was no longer protected by people who understood his mental state. That left Burke vulnerable to gang members, drug dealers and other street hustlers who saw an opportunity to take advantage of him, according to family and friends.

Burke was shot and killed on Nov. 4. He was found inside his home, but police believe he was shot elsewhere. Prosecutors have charged Kenneth Hines and Alexandria Gomez with murder and conspiracy in connection with Burke’s death. Prosecutors say the pair conspired to commit a robbery, which resulted in the killing.

Sadly, that wasn’t the first time Burke had been robbed. Family and friends say he was repeatedly beaten and robbed for at least the past three years. Read more

Alexandria Gomez charged in connection with shooting death of Rodney Burke

A second person has been charged in connection with the shooting death of 48-year-old Rodney Burke.

Alexandria Gomez, 30, is charged with murder and conspiracy, and prosecutors say she conspired with others to commit a robbery, which resulted in Burke’s death. Kenneth Hines, 34, was arrested last week and charged with those same offenses in connection with Burke’s murder. Read more

Kenneth Hines arrested, charged in connection with murder of Rodney Burke

A Trenton man has been charged in connection with the murder of 48-year-old Rodney Burke.

Kenneth Hines, 34, is charged with first-degree murder and second-degree conspiracy, and prosecutors say he conspired with others to commit a robbery, which resulted in Burke’s death. Read more

Foreman and Samad indicted in connection with Chevin Burgess’ murder

Two city men were indicted last week in connection with the murder of Chevin Burgess.

Joeryan Foreman, 20, and Calier Samad, 27, were each indicted on charges of felony murder, robbery, related weapons offenses and aggravated arson. Samad is also charged with first-degree murder. Read more

Grand jury indicts two in April homicide

A Mercer County grand jury has returned a four-count indictment charging two suspected gangsters in the April shooting murder of Jahmir Hall.

Mercer County Prosecutor Joseph L. Bocchini Jr. said Daniel McCargo and Curtis Grier, both 28, were indicted for murder and weapons offenses. Read more

Shaheed Brown indicted in connection with the murder of Enrico Smalley Jr.

Shaheed Brown was indicted last week in connection with the murder of Enrico Smalley Jr.

Brown, 30, was indicted on charges of murder, related weapons offenses and certain persons not to possess a firearm. Read more

Isiah Greene rejects plea deal, requests trial

Murder suspect Isiah Greene rejected a plea offer and asked for a trial Wednesday before a prosecutor disclosed that a key witness in his case was killed recently.

Assistant Mercer County Prosecutor Jim Scott said there was no indication of a link between locked-up Greene and the slain man, whose name was not disclosed in court.

Greene is charged with murder, attempted murder and a slew of drug offenses for allegedly shooting 24-year-old Quaadir “Ace” Gurley as he sat on a porch along Rossell Avenue at 1:30 the morning of July 21, 2013. Read more

Ewing man dead after police-involved shooting on Wilson Street

A Ewing man was shot and killed Thursday during a police-involved shooting on Wilson Street.

Darnell Stafford (

Darnell Stafford (

Darnell Stafford, 31, was shot by officers after he fired gunshots through the windshield of their police cruiser. Stafford was then taken to Capital Health Regional Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead.

According to law enforcement, around 7 a.m. Thursday, Officers Robert Albanowski and Marlon Parrot were dispatched to the first block of Wilson Street after police received an emergency 911 call reporting a man with a gun who had just invaded a home. Police say the call was made by an adolescent who escaped from the house. When the officers arrived on-scene, they saw the suspect, later identified as Stafford, who then fired directly at them while they were sitting in their police vehicle. The officers then returned fire.

Three bullet holes could be seen in the windshield directly in front of the driver’s seat of the police cruiser as law enforcement processed the scene Thursday. Acting Police Director Ernest Parrey Jr. said the officers were in “imminent danger” at the time of the shooting. Read more

Death of elderly man who died in the hospital ruled a homicide

The death of an elderly man who died in the hospital last month has been ruled a homicide.

On Oct. 29, Felix Colon, 71, died in the hospital from injuries suffered during a physical altercation that took place at a rehabilitation center in the city.

According to prosecutors, on the day before his death, Colon and a 46-year-old man, whose name has not been released, were admitted to Capital Health Regional Medical Center after having a verbal dispute that turned physical. Read more

Arrest made in Halloween Homicide, alleged killer found hiding under pile of clothes

Authorities announced on Friday evening that police arrested Donte Jones, 23, of Trenton in connection with the murder of Levonza G. Thompson, 36, of Philadelphia.

According to the Mercer County Prosecutor’s office, the 23 year-old was discovered hiding under a pile of clothes in the third floor attic of a home in the first block of Laurel Place. Read more