Man shot last month in Trenton charged with murder
One of the three city men charged in the grisly broad daylight double murder of an aspiring rapper and his friend survived being blasted five times in the chest in another daylight shooting last month, sources confirmed to The Trentonian.
Cecil Blake, 31, was nearly shot to death April 6 on the 100 block of Monmouth Street. He was whisked into emergency surgery and lived only to be hit with double murder charges in the slayings of Philadelphia rapper Elmii Probema, whose real name is Jerard Perdomo-Santana, and his friend, 19-year-old Ivan Rodriguez.
Perdomo-Santana, who last year released his debut mixtape Maxima Seguridad, was found with his friend inside an idling black Ford Taurus riddled with bullets. Both men were taken to the hospital where they later dead.
Blake was arrested with alleged accomplices Shaquille McNeill, 24, and Tashawn Santiago, 25. Each are charged with murder and weapons offenses, authorities announced Friday.
One of Perdomo-Santana’s friends has claimed the rapper was a victim of a robbery, but the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office wouldn’t detail the motivation behind the killing or go into each man’s alleged role in snuffing out the Philadelphia men on Jan. 22
Sources speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss details of the investigation said that McNeil is the alleged triggerman and shot-caller Blake was the one who allegedly ordered the killing. Santiago’s alleged involvement is not clear.
The trio is also charged with attempted murder for almost killing a third 29-year-old man who survived being shot in the shoulder and the hand in the brazen double assassination on the 300 block of Washington Street. The man drove himself to the hospital.
On Jan. 12, Perdomo-Santana, who called himself a Dominican Latin rap artist, posted a Facebook live video of him and Rodriguez driving around in a car together, listening to music. He posted a similar video on the morning he died.
McNeil was picked up Wednesday by the members of the county homicide task force and U.S. Marshals at a friend’s Trenton home. Santiago was already in county lockup on unrelated charges when he was served with charges in the double murder
Prosecutors said Blake is “in the custody” of the county corrections department. It’s unclear if Blake is in jail or still recuperating at a hospital after his brush with death last month. Blake was initially in grave condition after being shot multiple times in the chest April 6, near the intersection of Walnut Avenue and Monmouth Street.
Officials haven’t said whether there’s a link between Blake’s assassination attempt and his role in the double murder.
Blake has convictions for reckless manslaughter and gun-toting, court records show. He pleaded guilty to shooting and killing Samuel Hardwick in 2007 in a plea deal with prosecutors that called for five years in prison and allowed codefendants James Deonte James and David Kennedy to walk.
One of the key witnesses in the murder case who led police to a stash house full of guns developed dementia and was placed in an assisted-living home, a big setback that weakened prosecutors’case.
Blake was also nabbed by cops in March on a number of drug charges for allegedly dealing cocaine. He was found with 105 grams of cocaine and $257 in cash, cops said.