Ewing man indicted in passion killing of Tisheen Mack
The man accused of shooting and killing 26-year-old Tisheen Mack in a summertime crime of passion has been indicted on manslaughter charges.
Jihad “Jay” Jenks, 23, of Ewing, remains free on electronically monitored home detention as he awaits post-indictment arraignment, according to court records. He is accused of gunning down Mack near the intersection of East State Street and Chambers Street in Trenton July 23.
A grand jury handed up an indictment last Wednesday charging Jenks with second-degree manslaughter committed in the heat of passion resulting from a reasonable provocation, second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and second-degree unlawful possession of a handgun without a permit, court records show.
Law enforcement failed to produce a detailed police report against Jenks in a timely fashion this summer, which prompted the state to withdraw its detention motion in the case. The indictment, however, indicates that a grand jury found sufficient evidence to bring criminal charges against Jenks.
The indictment also suggests that the state’s case against Jenks is strong, considering the grand jury handed up homicide-based charges rather than dismissing them with a no bill.
Jenks maintains his innocence and denies any knowledge of the crime, according to his attorney. An affidavit of probable cause provided no substantive information in the case, but the homicide victim Tisheen “Booda Black” Mack of Trenton may have engaged or attempted to engage his killer in a gunfight.
Mack had a gun in his possession on the night he was killed, according to police sources, who said medical personnel discovered the weapon upon stabilizing Mack at the scene. He suffered numerous gunshot wounds on the 800 block of East State Street and was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
Police arrested Jenks and charged him with manslaughter in the heat of passion about two weeks after the slaying. The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office filed a motion Aug. 5 seeking to keep Jenks locked up without bail on pretrial detention, but the state ultimately withdrew its detention motion Aug. 29 after a judge blasted the state’s initial handling of the case.
“This is a 23-year-old man with absolutely no prior record from what I can tell, and you are asking me to detain him today based on an affidavit of probable cause which doesn’t even mention him by name let alone give me any meaningful detail about what happened other than a recitation of the fact that the victim was shot,” Mercer County Superior Court Judge Peter Warshaw said at Jenks’ Aug. 29 detention hearing. “I don’t know where the idea that this is an acceptable showing of probable cause comes in and in terms of the reporting, I don’t even know where to start with that.”
At the detention hearing, Mercer County Assistant Prosecutor Michelle Gasparian told Warshaw that neither the Mercer County Homicide Task Force nor the Trenton Police Department had completed an investigative report that would have explained Jenks’ alleged involvement in the slaying of Mack. She said the state, however, had a three-hour recorded statement from an eyewitness who saw the gun violence. She then invited Warshaw to watch the video.
“And because nobody in your office or the Trenton Police Department has written any sort of report, my only choice is to watch all of this stuff? …” Warshaw said, adding it was “absolutely ridiculous” that the state failed to produce a timely police report. Authorities filed manslaughter charges against Jenks Aug. 2 but failed to produce any substantive charging documents before his Aug. 29 detention hearing.
With the state withdrawing its detention motion amid heavy judicial criticism, Warshaw ordered Jenks to be released from the county jail onto electronically monitored house arrest. Jenks remains confined to home detention at his grandfather’s house on the 1600 block of 12th Street in Ewing and must refrain from committing any new criminal offenses as a condition of his pretrial release.
Jenks is represented by private defense attorney John Furlong and is scheduled to appear before Warshaw on Jan. 5, 2018, for a post-indictment arraignment.
To convict Jenks on the manslaughter count, prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he killed Mack in the heat of passion as a direct result of being provoked. Jenks faces five to 10 years in state prison if convicted.