Dashawn Bethea declines plea deal, will stand trial in 2013 murder

A Trenton man is expected to take his case to trial rather than accept an offer from prosecutors that would require him to spend 30 years in prison for murder.

Dashawn Bethea, 25, is accused of firing a .40 caliber handgun into a crowd on the 400 block of Stuyvesant Avenue on June 9, 2013 while he was walking with his father, Charles Boston, back from a nearby store.

Bethea missed bicyclists who were his intended targets, and a bullet struck Berkeley McDaniel, 61, in the head. Bethea also wounded his father, who suffered a gunshot wound the shoulder but recovered from his injuries.

Bethea was in court Monday for a status update. He was indicted in the June 2013 shooting earlier this year and also faces attempted murder and weapons offenses in a separate case, Mercer County Assistant Prosecutor Lew Korngut said.

Police found spent .40 caliber shell casings at the scene, along with a broken cell phone, a bicycle, and an ammunition magazine. Bethea, who remains in jail on $1 million bail, is scheduled to appear back in court in January.

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