Prosecutors paint Trenton murder suspect as violent ‘terror’ who stalked victim
A Beverly man who “terrorized” Trenton during a murderous four-month crime spree that claimed two men’s lives was “stalking” one of his victims when he climbed aboard a city train the morning of Oct. 29, prosecutors said.
Randy Washington, 33, who has addresses in Trenton and Beverly and is being held on $2.1 million bail, has been charged separately in the July 30 shooting death of George Jamison , 43, and the Oct. 29 slaying of Silas Johnson, 64. He is also facing charges in five robberies that occurred in the city – two in July and three in October, prosecutors said — but bond was not set on those charges when Washington appeared before at an initial hearing before Superior Court Judge Robert Billmeier.
Prosecutors said Washington was apparently hell-bent on avenging his sister’s alleged rape when he sought out Johnson on a train. Prosecutors couldn’t shed light on why Washington knew Johnson would be on the train.
But the two knew each other, and Washington apparently knew where to find Johnson. In fact, Washington, who wore a pink backpack where he had stashed his .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun, sat directly behind the unassuming Johnson on the train ride, the two men separated only by a partition, according to prosecutors.
When Johnson disembarked from his train ride at a stop near Route 1, Washington followed him and eventually confronted him. A witness said the two men began scuffling. Then the witness said Washington screamed Johnson had raped his sister before he produced a gun and fired. He fled the scene on foot, discarding the gun, backpack and a sweater he wore along a blood-stained “flight of path,” Assistant Prosecutor Stacey Geurds said.
Geurds said police recovered the gun next to the backpack and the article of clothing, along with two shell casings found next to Johnson’s body. Ballistic tests showed the shell casings matched ones left at the scene of Jamison’s murder.
Geurds wouldn’t answer direct questions about whether investigators substantiated the rape claim. But court records show that Johnson was accused of sexual assault in a case dating back to 1995.
Few details, including the outcome of the case, were available in online court records, and it’s unclear if Washington’s sister, who Geurds wouldn’t name, ever filed a police report against Johnson. Geurds spoke vaguely of an investigation into the allegation but wouldn’t go into specifics when pressed.
She chose to focus on the apprehension of Washington, a violent perpetrator with five prior convictions on his rap sheet, including ones for second-degree aggravated assault and making threats of violence, prosecutors said.
“He was a terror,” she said.
Washington was on probation stemming from his conviction on the latter 2013 charge, prosecutors said, when he allegedly shot and killed the two men. Prosecutors believe Washington coldly shot Jamison in the back at a Trenton bus stop following a botched robbery attempt.
Washington was expressionless, with his head and shoulders slumped to one side, as he listened via teleconference to Assistant Prosecutor Al Garcia tick off the final minutes of Jamison’s life.
Garcia said police used ballistic tests they ran on the .45-caliber shell casings recovered at Johnson’s murder scene to tie Washington to Jamison’s killing.
Garcia said police also obtained video footage that clearly shows Washington, clad in a multicolor jacket, saying something to Jamison at a bus stop on North Broad Street while he held him up at gunpoint. He then allegedly shot Jamison in the back and rode away on a bicycle, prosecutors said.
Garcia said police recovered the “unusual jacket” when they executed a search and seizure warrant at the home of Washington’s girlfriend, whom he was staying with. Police said the backpack Washington had slung on his shoulders the day of Johnson’s murder belonged to his girlfriend’s daughter.
Washington also faces weapons charges related to the killings and resisting arrest after he got physical when police took him into custody following Johnson’s murder.