Bail amount upheld for Trenton man accused of killing Pinkey Priester

A judge kept the bail at $750,000 cash Wednesday for the ex-con charged with shooting ten bullets into Pinkey Priester in the middle of Centre Street on the night of June 15.

Murder suspect Tomarkus Whitfield, 36, appeared on jailhouse video before Mercer Superior Court Judge Robert Billmeier, who made his call after hearing the accusations and about the suspect’s history of weapons offenses.

“This was not a case of ‘one shot, wrong place.’ He continued to shoot (the victim) until he fell to the ground,” Assistant Mercer Prosecutor Michelle Gasparian told the judge.

It happened at 10 that Sunday night in the 300 block of Centre Street, Gasparian said, and was the culmination of a “financial dispute” between Priester, 33, and suspect Whitfield, who has children ages 20, 13 and 5.

The prosecutor said “in excess of 10 shots” were fired that night, some of them as Whitfield allegedly stood over the downed victim and fired.

Whitfield’s lawyer, Mercer Assistant Public Defender John Maloney, asked for a reduced bail, saying authorities have “no gun, no physical evidence. The state says they had some kind of dispute. OK, so what?”

Gasparian said the fatal gunning occurred before several witnesses out on the street that night. She also noted to the judge that Whitfield’s career-criminal highlights include a prior conviction for carrying a gun while a convicted felon.

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