Teen charged in 2013 murder, moved to adult jail after turning 18
A Trenton teenager accused of fatally shooting another teen during a botched drug deal has been ordered transferred to the Mercer County jail after he recently turned 18.
Alberto Lopez was 16 when he allegedly shot 17-year-old Shamere Melvin in the head during a botched robbery in December 2013 on the 300 block of North Clinton Avenue.
Being tried on charges of murder, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and unlawful possession of a weapon, Lopez is being held on $750,000 bail at a juvenile detention center in Burlington.
On Monday, Superior Court Judge Robert Billmeier remanded Lopez to the county jail where he will be housed with other adult defendants.
Lopez has pleaded not guilty to the charges and was offered a 30-year state prison sentence if he pleads guilty to murder.
Prosecutors said they have a strong case against him, which includes phone records and Facebook messages that show Lopez and his cousin arranged through a mutual female friend to meet with
Melvin near Clinton Avenue the night of the murder.
Lopez backed out of a drug deal but returned a second time and the parties met in the same spot. The murder happened while Lopez and his cousin walked with Melvin down the street for about a block while the drivers waited in the car.
Lopez was arrested by authorities a few days after the murder near the corner of Walnut and Chestnut avenues.
When authorities questioned Lopez about the murder, he told authorities he never met up with Melvin, prosecutors have said. He later acknowledged being in Trenton but implicated a distant cousin for the murder.