Mother of murdered Trenton man sues Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office
Talaya Greenfield scooped a handful of documents and pictures from her purse and spread them out across a small table.
This was all that is left of her son, 23-year-old Jamer, who was fatally shot in Trenton on July 14, 2014. His killer remains on the prowl.
Talaya is left with questions she says the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office has not satisfactorily answered. She wrote to Acting Attorney General John Hoffman last year.
He couldn’t help, so now she’s suing the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.
It’s an unfair fight, a single mother who was forced to drop out of high school after she became pregnant with her first son, pitted against a powerhouse of attorneys with law degrees from a plethora of prestigious schools, decades of experience and resources galore.
This is David vs. Goliath, captioned Greenfield v. Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, et al.
“I’m just gonna manage, do this on my own,” Talaya said. “I hope I can win by myself. But I do know I need backup. I’m hoping that someone does come to my aid and offers their help.”
To think, this legal wrangling started because the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office has refused to provide Jamer’s mother with his autopsy report, which she believes will answer many of her lingering questions about her son’s death.
While she would settle for the autopsy report, Talaya also wants prosecutors to release her son’s $17,000 blue diamond-encrusted Breitling watch and his cross necklace. She wants to sell the watch so she can pay for an attorney to find out what really happened to her son.
The office of Acting Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri has met numerous times with Talaya, who said First Assistant Prosecutor Doris Galuchie read her portions of the autopsy report but refused to allow her to see it for herself.
County prosecutor spokeswoman Casey Deblasio said her office will not give Talaya a copy of the autopsy report because of the ongoing murder investigation. They believe it could jeopardize catching his killer but have not said how.
Attorneys from the county have asked Talaya to drop her lawsuit, calling the complaint “frivolous litigation.”
In a threatening letter sent by Deputy Counsel Paul Adezio on Jan. 8, he said the county would ask a judge to come down hard on Talaya if she does not withdraw the complaint.
“You have previously been advised by the MCPO and law enforcement personnel that the personal property cannot be released, as it constitutes evidence,” the letter says. “Please be advised that an application will be made within a reasonable time if the offending complaint is not withdrawn as to the MCPO within twenty-eight (28) days of service of this demand. The application will seek attorneys’ fees and costs and such other sanctions.”
Talaya has little money. She asked for the filing fee for the lawsuit to be waived. She has still been unable to scrape together the $1,200 for a headstone for Jamer, who is buried at Colonial Memorial Park.
“Every time I walk past there, it makes tears come out of my eyes,” she said. “I really miss my son calling me. I miss his smile.”
Jamer dealt drugs and was facing criminal charges at the time of his death. But it is unclear if that is connected in any way to his demise.
Word on the street is he may have been targeted for his jewelry while he was gambling. Talaya said she was told her son ran from his assailant and collapsed on the ground in front of two cops.
The Mercer County Homicide Task Force protocol sheet is dryly impersonal and reveals little else:
At approximately 0501 hours on Saturday July 19, 2014, Trenton Police Officers Michael Runyon and Joseph Schiaretti were in the area of the 100 block of Rosemont Avenue when they heard gunshots and saw a large group running in the area of 209 Rosemont Avenue. The Officers responded and observed a gunshot victim lying on the ground on Hoffman Avenue (S/O) 200 Rosemont Avenue suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Trenton Emergency Medical Services responded and the victim, identified as Jamer Jay Greenfield, B/M 23 years of age, born July 29, 1990, was transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased by Dr. Kelly at 0530 hours. The victim’s mother was notified of her son’s untimely passing.
A report from Dr. Michael Kelly, the emergency surgeon who worked on Jamer, is filled with medical jargon and hard to decipher.
It says Jamer “showed no signs of life” after suffering a “gunshot wound directly in the middle of the sternum, one in the right lower quadrant of his abdomen, one on his right flank and one in his left back at the level of the T9 in the midclavicular line.”
The murder has confounded cops and prosecutors, which has led Talaya to the brink of conspiracy theory.
She remembers one of the officers who found her son laying in a pool of his own blood broke down crying at the hospital. Then she thought it was just a cop hardened by the savage streets showing his sentimental side.
Now she views his tears more skeptically, wondering if he had a “guilty conscience” and if she is missing something.
“All cops don’t do that,” Talaya said.
Not long after Jamer’s death, former Mercer County Prosecutor Joseph Bocchini authorized his office to release $300 of $661 in drug proceeds seized from Jamer on Jan. 15, 2014.
What many would interpret as a sympathetic gesture from the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office now comes across to Talaya as prosecutors buying her off because they are hiding something.
“I wanna know who shot him,” Talaya said. “I’m gonna go on as long as it takes me. I’m not going to stop fighting for Jamer.”