Trenton gang member may have an alibi for a cold-case killing
A Trenton gang member may have an alibi for a cold-case killing authorities thought they solved.
Notorious crime figure Ronald Smith, a reputed member of the Gangster Killer Bloods who was netted years ago in a big drug bust, may have been on an ankle bracelet that will show he was nowhere near 27-year-old Kevin Thomas when he was gunned down in September 2006, at a street light on the corner of East State and Chambers streets, his attorney said Monday.
Thomas was a passenger in a vehicle when a gunman in a dark-colored SUV pulled alongside him and opened fire, killing him and wounding a passenger.
Witnesses came forward pegging Smith as the gunman, but prosecutors have not disclosed a motive in the murder.
Defense attorney Mark Fury said he has identified Smith’s probation officer from 2006, and he is in the process of tracking down crucial alibi information that may ultimately exonerate his client.
Still, that didn’t make the reputed gangster and accused killer happy.
Smith, who has finished serving time at Northern State Prison in Newark where he was housed on a drug conviction, has been transferred to the Mercer County Correction Center while he awaits the resolution of the murder case.
He had been convicted of heroin distribution in Operation Capital City, which netted high-ranking members of the Gangster Killer Bloods, led by Bernard “Petey Black” Green, in 2010.
Smith was offered a plea that would send him to prison for 27 years for Thomas’ murder.
Smith argued with his attorney prior to Monday’s status conference, chastising Fury for his current predicament and urging him to file a bail reconsideration motion.
Smith is being held in lieu of $750,000, and Judge Robert Billmeier has already reconsidered bail once.
Fury believes if he can nail down the alibi information that is grounds for the judge to consider lowering Smith’s bail, which could pave the way for Smith to fight the case from the streets.
Smith told the judge he was tired of coming to court with no end in sight and wanted to waive any remaining status hearings.
“I wanna sign trial papers and go to trial,” Smith said.
The judge told him even if he did that, he has several murder cases scheduled ahead of Smith and he wouldn’t get to his case until spring 2017 at the earliest.
Fury said that going forward without the alibi information would be a “miscarriage of justice.”
Smith is due back in court Nov. 28 for plea cutoff.