Jamaican man headed to trial for 2013 city murder
A Jamaican man suspected of gunning a 47-year-old city man in 2013 has rejected prosecutors’ plea offers and is expected to be tried later this year.
Judge Pedro Jimenez set Robert Byers’ murder trial down for Oct. 3 of this year. He is accused of fatally shooting construction worker and DJ Devon Hewitt in 2013, then fleeing to Florida where he was arrested by U.S. Marshals.
Byers, of Mott Street, was nabbed in Miami and brought back to New Jersey, where he was indicted on first-degree murder and weapons charges.
He is being tried by Assistant Mercer County Prosecutor Kimm Lacken. Byers is represented by Iacullo Martino.
The judge will hear pretrial evidentiary motions Sept. 16, less than a month before the start of trial.
Byers is accused of going to a house on Phillips Avenue where Hewitt, a 47-year-old Jamaican and popular disc jockey, partied with a friend the afternoon of Nov. 21, 2013.
Cops responded to shots fired and found the father of two dead. According to published reports, the men argued over a game of cards or dominoes.
Last year, prosecutors floated Byers an offer that would have required him to plead guilty to aggravated manslaughter and spend 25 years in prison, according to published reports.
Byers has been held at the Mercer jail on $1 million bail.
Byers is a native of Jamaica and is in America on an expired work visa.