One of two suspects in murder of James Austin to file motion to dismiss
One of two city men charged in the shooting death of James Austin, the son of a veteran city cop, plans to file a motion to dismiss an indictment charging him with murder, his attorney said.
Andrew Mark Ferencevych, an attorney for Raheem Currie, 22, unveiled plans at a Monday status hearing but didn’t specify the ground the motion would be based. His client has entered a not guilty plea and has been offered a plea deal that calls for a 10-year sentence if he pleads guilty to conspiracy to commit murder.
Currie’s co-defendant, Robert Bartley, has confessed to fatally shooting Austin on Feb. 26, 2013, in the doorway of his home, and accepted a plea deal calling for a 25-year sentence for pleading guilty to aggravated manslaughter. Austin is the son of retired Trenton police Sgt. Luddie Austin, who has opposed the deal prosecutors offered Currie.
The defendants planned to spray Austin’s East State Street home with bullets following an ongoing dispute between Austin and Currie that escalated when Austin broke Currie’s windshield, prosecutors have said. Bartley admitted he shot Austin in the chest when he was confronted in the doorway.
Judge Robert Billmeier scheduled a hearing on the motion for March 26. In the interim, attorneys for both sides plan to file briefs outlining issues that will be addressed in a dismissal motion.