Trenton man kills ex-Trenton cop’s son, gets 25 years behind bars

Robert Bartley

Robert Bartley

A city man who shot and killed a retired Trenton cop’s son in cold blood has been sentenced to 25 years in state prison.

Admitted killer Robert Bartley, 26, received the expected quarter-century sentence last Friday before New Jersey Superior Court Judge Robert Billmeier. In September 2014 Bartley pleaded guilty to firing a lethal gunshot into the chest of 18-year-old James Austin.

Austin was the father of two children — twin daughters — and he was also the son of former Trenton Police Sgt. Luddie Austin. Bartley armed himself with a weapon and gunned down James Austin during the afternoon of Feb. 26, 2013, on the 900 block of East State Street in Trenton.

Bartley previously reached an agreement with prosecutors to serve 25 years behind bars in exchange for pleading guilty and testifying in court against Raheem Currie, the other defendant who had played a role in Austin’s slaying.


Raheem Currie

Currie, who turns 25 on Saturday, is currently serving out a 23-year prison sentence at Garden State Youth Correctional Facility for a jury of his peers finding him guilty last summer of first degree aggravated manslaughter in connection with Austin’s death.

Bartley and Currie are cousins and both resided on the 600 block of Greenwood Avenue in Trenton.

Mercer County Assistant Prosecutor Jim Scott tried the case against Bartley, who was represented by defense attorney Caroline Turner.

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