Prosecutors: Suspect stomped Trenton teen to make sure he was dead
Omar Kennedy is accused of delivering the coupe de grace, if not the kill shot.
Afterwards, he was all smiles about it, prosecutors said.
Kennedy, 34, and two others are charged with murder and weapons offenses after they walked 19-year-old Lance Beckett into an alleyway where he was fatally shot the afternoon of Sept. 18, prosecutors said at a bail hearing Thursday.
One of the suspects let off four shots, mortally wounding the city teenager.
For good measure, Kennedy stomped on Beckett’s head “to ensure he was dead,” while he bled out in a wooded area near East Stuyvesant Avenue, Assistant Prosecutor Tim Ward said.
Quashawn Emanuel, 18, and a 17-year-old boy are also charged in the slaying of Beckett, who died at the scene.
Prosecutors haven’t said who fired the fatal shot, but Emanuel denied shooting Beckett to death, while admitting he knew he was sleepwalking the teenager to his death.
Prosecutors will likely waive up the 17-year-old boy as an adult.
With his shirt off and dangling out his back pocket, Kennedy was caught on tape laughing and joking with his co-defendants at a deli not long after the killing, Ward said.
Surveillance tapes helped authorities track down the suspected killers after witnesses provided police with vital clothing descriptions.
One witness described to police seeing one suspect stomp Beckett’s head.
That turned out to be Kennedy, who was interviewed by authorities prior to fleeing to Virginia, Ward said.
The prosecutor said detectives initially released Kennedy without charging him.
Feeling the heat, Kennedy fled to Virginia, where he was picked up this month by U.S. Marshals NY/NJRegional Fugitive Task Force, prosecutors said.
Kennedy was brought back to the Garden State, where he admitted he was on surveillance tapes and present when the murder happened, Ward said.
He also acknowledged fleeing after the murder, prosecutors said.
Jenna Casper, Kennedy’s attorney, said her client maintains his innocence and didn’t run from authorities. He went to Virginia to attend an aunt’s funeral.
Casper questioned the strength of evidence against Kennedy if authorities let him walk the first time, prior to arresting him in Virginia.
“He was not involved with the actual shooting,” she said.
Kennedy has been arrested 17 times, in Virginia, South Carolina and New Jersey. He has six felony convictions, including for drugs, hindering, child abuse and contempt.
He had just gotten out of jail months before the murder, Ward said.
The prosecutor said Kennedy proved, “There’s not a risk of flight. There’s a certainty of flight.”
A judge maintained bail at $1 million, the same as for Emanuel, while the 17-year-old boy is housed at a Middlesex County juvenile jail.