Convicted killer gets 47 years in Trenton murder case, vows to appeal

Edward Kevin Nock (contributed photo)

Edward Kevin Nock (contributed photo)

Convicted murderer Isaac Grey smiled and blew kisses Friday after a judge had sentenced him to more than 40 years of incarceration.

Despite being convicted of stabbing and killing Edward Nock, the defendant declared he is not the perpetrator who had attacked the victim at knifepoint.

“Your honor, I am no bad guy,” he told the court on Friday. “I am innocent, your honor. I didn’t do it, but I do take blame for letting other individuals in the house and letting it get out of hand.” 

Grey lived at the Nock residence and invited or enabled other people to crash at Nock’s Beakes Street apartment on the night of the murder. The slaying occurred about 9:45 p.m. June 30, 2015, after hours of drinking and arguments.

“I apologize deeply to the family,” Grey said Friday, “because as a young man I should have known better, but I am human and I made a mistake.”

A trial jury in January found Grey guilty of murder, witness tampering and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose for allegedly stabbing and killing 43-year-old Nock at Trenton’s Donnelly Homes housing complex.

Doris Nock, the victim’s mother, thanked Grey on Friday, saying his homicidal actions from 2015 has made the Nock family “much stronger.”

Other relatives and friends described Edward Nock as “honest” and “caring” and said he “didn’t deserve to go out the way he did.”

When police were dispatched to Nock’s apartment on the night of the murder, they found him lying on the floor suffering from a stab wound to the abdomen. Medics rushed Nock to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The killer fled from the murder scene, but authorities tracked down Grey and arrested him for the crime in Philadelphia two days after the homicide.

Grey, 35, of Trenton, was found guilty of first-degree murder on Jan. 30. The trial jury also convicted him of witness tampering, finding the defendant had attempted to bribe a witness in the case.

At the sentencing hearing on Friday, the prosecution argued for an appropriate punishment while the defense argued for leniency.

Mercer County Superior Court Judge Robert Billmeier sentenced Grey to 40 years of incarceration on the murder conviction and seven years of incarceration for the witness tampering. Grey must serve at least 34 years or 85 percent of the term behind bars on the murder conviction to be followed by seven consecutive years of continued imprisonment. New Jersey state law requires his witness tampering and murder sentences to be served consecutively, which amounts to 47 years of total incarceration in this case.

Grey received nearly 1,400 days of jail credit, which effectively reduces his prison sentence by that amount. The judge also ordered him to pay $5,000 in restitution to the victim’s wife to reimburse her for funeral costs. The judge took into account that Grey had six prior upper court convictions, including one for aggravated assault, as well as three municipal court convictions and a history of juvenile delinquency.

One of Grey’s siblings, a sister from Delaware, attended Friday’s sentencing hearing and told the court that “my brother is a kindhearted person” and “I love my brother to death.”

Wearing a beige jacket over his orange jumpsuit, Grey during much of the sentencing hearing had a smirk on his face and at times looked back at his sister with affection. After the judge handed down the prison sentence, Grey blew kisses and waved to his sister before the sheriff’s officers escorted him out of the courtroom.

“I think the judge put a lot of thought into this one,” defense attorney Mark Davis said of the prison sentence. “If Isaac Grey was in fact guilty this would be a fair and reasonable sentence. We intend to appeal, because he is not the one who committed the murder.”

Davis said his client never wanted Nock to get killed. “That was a friend of his,” he told the court. “That was the last thing he wanted to happen on that day.”

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