Attorney for suspect in Latino man’s murder says detective misidentified client

The two men who beat Julio Cesar Cruz Cruz to death in February 2014 during a robbery wore a green jacket and a black jacket, witnesses told police.

A detective said the witnesses were partially right.

The clothing was a critical point of contention at a pretrial hearing Wednesday for Michael Holman, one of the men who was arrested and charged with Cruz’s murder.

Dante Martin is also charged for his role in the fatal beating. The men have rejected plea offers from prosecutors and may go to trial.

Michael Holman

Michael Holman

Holman’s attorney, Jack Furlong, has challenged on several constitutional grounds whether a statement his client gave police is admissible at trial.

Prosecutors said Holman’s own words, admitting he was in the area of the murder, are incriminating and they want jurors to hear that at trial.

A judge listened to testimony most of Wednesday but has not ruled on the matter and will issue a written decision in the future.Read more

Police seek two men in connection with stabbing death of Trenton man

Authorities are searching for two men they say are connected to the murder of a Honduran man who was stabbed to death this month.

Authorities are seeking two men connected to a stabbing death in Trenton.

Authorities are seeking two men connected to a stabbing death in Trenton.

The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office released a grainy photo Wednesday of two men walking near the area where 27-year-old Carlos Leiva-Oviedo was stabbed to death in the early-morning hours of June 14.

Police responded to the intersection of Hudson and Genesee streets and found Leiva-Oviedo sprawled out on the in the street near his car, which was parked on Hudson. He suffered multiple stab wounds and was taken by ambulance to a hospital where he died four hours later.Read more

Trenton man indicted for Edwin Saddler murder

Akee Harris

Akee Harris

A city man has been indicted in connection with the fatal stabbing of 22-year-old Edwin Saddler.

Akee Harris, 27, was indicted on murder and related weapons charges in connection with Saddler’s death, which happened on June 23, 2015, in the first block of Ellsworth Avenue.

Prosecutors believe Harris and Saddler were involved in a physical altercation, during which Harris stabbed Saddler numerous times. Prosecutors say Harris was treated at a hospital in Hopewell after suffering a laceration to his hand during the altercation with Saddler. Read more

Jamaican man headed to trial for 2013 city murder

A Jamaican man suspected of gunning a 47-year-old city man in 2013 has rejected prosecutors’ plea offers and is expected to be tried later this year.

Judge Pedro Jimenez set Robert Byers’ murder trial down for Oct. 3 of this year. He is accused of fatally shooting construction worker and DJ Devon Hewitt in 2013, then fleeing to Florida where he was arrested by U.S. Marshals.

Byers, of Mott Street, was nabbed in Miami and brought back to New Jersey, where he was indicted on first-degree murder and weapons charges.Read more

Trenton man stabbed to death Tuesday morning

Carlos Leiva-Oviedo and his girlfriend Lesvia Liliana Caballero (submitted photo)

Carlos Leiva-Oviedo and his girlfriend Lesvia Liliana Caballero (submitted photo)

A man from Honduras who has lived in the capital city for about two years was stabbed to death Tuesday morning, becoming the city’s eleventh homicide victim this year.

Carlos Leiva-Oviedo, 27, was stabbed around 3 a.m. Tuesday near the intersection of Hudson and Genesee streets. When police arrived, they found him lying in the street near his car, which was parked on Hudson, suffering from several stab wounds.

Carlos was rushed to the hospital where he died about four hours later.

According to his friends, Carlos moved to Trenton about two years ago to earn money for his family, most of whom still live in Honduras. He was employed as a roofer and also found work repairing and installing aluminum siding. Read more

Trenton men to go on trial in fall for slaying of 23-year-old city man

Two men suspected of killing 23-year-old Daquan Dowling during a 2012 drive-by shooting that led to the closure of Route 29 are expected to go on trial later this year.

William Mitchell and Andre Romero are being tried together for the murder of Dowling, who was killed instantly after he was struck in the head by a bullet fired by the alleged shooters.

Two other men who were charged in the highway slaying, Anthony Marks and Jamar Square, accepted plea bargains to lesser charges.Read more

Trenton teen shot and killed Saturday afternoon

Police are investigating a murder at Prospect Village in Trenton Saturday afternoon. (Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman -- The Trentonian)

Police are investigating a murder at Prospect Village in Trenton Saturday afternoon. (Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman — The Trentonian)

UPDATE: The victim has been identified as Maurice Wimbush-Jalaah.

A 15-year-old boy was shot and killed Saturday afternoon at Prospect Village, police said.

Police responded to a report of a shooting in progress about 3:45 p.m. Saturday and located the teenager who had been struck at least once by gunfire, according to Trenton Police Lt. Stephen Varn. Read more

Another attorney dips out in murder trial for men accused of killing Army vet

Better Call Saul.

The suspected gunman in the oldest Mercer County has attorney problems, as yet another one ducked out of his homicide case.

Danuweli Keller was dealt another blow Friday, when his new attorney, Thomas Verrastro, asked a judge to be let out of the case, which is scheduled for trial in September.

Judge Robert Billmeier reluctantly allowed Verrastro to withdraw.

“I consider this the eve of trial,” Billmeier said, even though the trial is about three months out.

He indicated he would not put the trial on hold.Read more

Trenton men convicted of killing Carl Batie in 2012

Elaine Batie clutched her son’s former co-worker outside a Mercer County criminal courtroom.

They hugged for what seemed like minutes, swaying back and forth in unison.

Carl Batie

Carl Batie

“It’s over,” the woman told Elaine.

Carl Batie, a former Mercer County corrections officer with an infectious personality and generous spirit, was killed in a hail of bullets Nov. 11, 2012 at the Baldassari Regency banquet hall, in what authorities believed  was a chilling and callous gang-related shooting that claimed an unintended victim.

Prosecutors stressed to jurors over two trials they may never know “the why” of the killing, but they could know “the who.”

It took 1,307 days since Batie’s death, two trials and two different juries. But two city men were finally found guilty Thursday of killing the off-duty Mercer County corrections officer in 2012, nearly four months after their first trial ended in a hung jury. Read more

Sneakers, witnesses tie city man to Zaire Gibbs murder

All day a Mercer County inmate will be dreaming about his lost sneaker.

Prosecutors said at a bail hearing Thursday for suspected killer Seth Bowers, 21, that a left-footed Adidas sneaker ties him to the murder of Zaire Gibbs, a 25-year-old man who was gunned down last week in the city streets.

Authorities found the shoe on the first block of Washington Street on June 1 and matched it to a right-footed Adidas sneaker discovered at Bowers’ Anderson Street home, not far from the scene of the deadly dustup.

Seth Z. Bowers

Seth Z. Bowers

Bowers turned himself into Trenton Police headquarters on unrelated warrants a day after the shooting. He was charged a day later with Gibbs’ murder. Read more