Suspected killer in Trenton slaying outside of La Guira Bar pleads not guilty
A city man has pleaded not guilty to killing a 39-year-old Trenton man outside of a crime-ridden bar last year.
Gang member Anthony L. Concepcion was out on bail on a gun charge when he allegedly fatally shot Patrick Walker outside of La Guira Bar on Dec, 13, 2014, one of two murders at the establishment in a five-month span.
Twenty-year-old Enrico Smalley Jr., of Ewing, was killed outside the same bar in July 2014. Suspected killer Shaheed Brown is on trial in the Smalley slaying.
The murders outside the bar drew the attention of the Alcoholic Beverage Control division of the Attorney General’s Office, which inquired into La Guira Bar’s practices but did not shut the bar down despite concerns from the owner his business would be shuttered.
Concepcion allegedly produced a handgun from his waistband and fired at the ground before pumping several rounds into Walker in a random killing that has puzzled investigators.
There was no indication Concepcion was inside the bar or interacted with Walker before shooting him, and prosecutors said they were unaware of a motive in the murder.
Walker was found outside the North Clinton Avenue establishment around 2 a.m., suffering multiple gunshot wounds, and died a short time later.
Concepcion, who was arraigned Thursday before Judge Robert Billmeier, entered not guilty pleas to counts of murder and weapons offenses. He was arrested by U.S. Marshals in a Florida hotel where prosecutors say he fled after the murder.
Concepcion’s attorney had said at a bail hearing earlier this year his client was visiting family in the Sunshine State and was unaware police had issued a warrant for his arrest.
Concepcion was previously arrested Sept. 30 on drug and weapons charges after police said they watched him dispose of a marijuana-filled cigarette box. Police found a gun stashed in Concepcion’s groin, which he is challenging on the grounds it was a warrantless search.
Concepcion has a violent streak, serving two state prison sentences for weapons convictions, according to state records. One conviction stemmed from an incident in which Concepcion was accused of shooting at the mother of his child while she held the couple’s baby in her arms in 2010.
He had been charged with multiple counts of aggravated assault, child endangerment and weapons offenses. A grand jury no billed the charges, indicting him on a single count of aggravated assault, officials have said.
He pleaded guilty to second-degree possession of a weapon and received a five-year sentence in 2011. Held in the Mercer County Correction Center on $750,000 bail, Concepcion’s next court appearance is set for January.