Trenton man gets 50 years for murder, another gets 15 for deadly attack

Recent court sentencings in Trenton show that trial-by-jury convictions generally lead to significantly more prison time than negotiating a guilty plea.

Dante Alexander, 33, of Trenton, this week received 50 years of imprisonment for shooting and killing 26-year-old Brandon Nance outside a city bakery in 2013. He pleaded not guilty in the case and took it to trial, where a jury of his peers convicted him in May of first-degree murder for slaying Nance in cold blood on Aug. 29, 2013, in front of the Italian People’s Bakery on Butler Street in broad daylight.

Dante Alexander

Dante Alexander

Alexander will have to serve at least 85 percent of his term behind bars and will be subjected to five years of parole supervision upon release, according to his defense attorney Christopher T. Campbell.

Meanwhile, self-confessed killer Michael Holman received 15 years of imprisonment for fatally injuring 18-year-old Julio Cesar Cruz in 2014. Holman, who turns 22 later this month, approached Cruz in the first block of Rusling Street and slammed the victim on the ground Feb. 15, 2014. Cruz suffered a mortal head injury during the attack and was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

Holman was originally charged with murder but pleaded guilty earlier this year to first-degree aggravated manslaughter. He could have received 30 years to life in prison if he had been convicted at trial, but Holman averted that by fessing up to his crimes under a negotiated plea agreement.

Michael Holman

Michael Holman

Mercer County Superior Court Judge Robert Billmeier sentenced Holman on Aug. 30 to 15 years of incarceration in the Trenton homicide case and seven years of incarceration in a separate aggravated assault case involving an incident that occurred Aug. 27, 2014, when Holman was jailed at the county lockup in Hopewell Township on high monetary bail. He pleaded guilty in both cases and will concurrently serve out his sentences.

Dante Martin, 21, of Trenton, a co-defendant in Holman’s homicide case, was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday morning for a status conference.

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