Talk about a downward departure.
The plea deal went from 25 years with cooperation for a man charged with murder to a dozen years – without any explanation from prosecutors.
Grady A. Blue III
Grady Blue III, 23, jumped at the plea deal Friday in Mercer County criminal court.
In doing so, he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of aggravated manslaughter for fatally shooting Naquan Ellis, 23, as he was stood with a group of people outside of the North 25 housing complex in June 2014.
A woman was also hit by gunfire but did not sustain serious injuries.
Blue, who also pleaded to an unrelated gun charge, admitted shooting “recklessly” into the crowd, but didn’t say why or who he was targeting.
Today’s comment of the day come from our Facebook page, where a passionate discussion developed over the case of Andre Corbett’s killing, including comments from supporters of both the victim and the accused.
In that thread, Trenton community activist Darren “Freedom” Green stepped in to leave a thoughtful response.
“Our health begins in our HOMES-restoring order, pride, love, and discipline in OUR BABIES,” Green wrote. “If everyone simply does that, we get better overnight through application. Second we have to make EDUCATION our number one focus, Our Babies kill and die in the streets for many reasons-EDUCATION is one of them. EDUCATED people don’t say dumb things like STOP SNITCHING when people are murdered. We have to restore INTEGRITY in our community, reporting wrong, standing up for each other, and working with police to remove CRIMINALS. We should be tired of hanging sheets, tired of lighting dam candles, tired of pouring out liquor-it’s time to clean up block by block. Our now and future DEPENDS on US-we can shine and grow, or keep dying and staying “low”. Peace!”
Today’s Comment of the Day comes by way of our Facebook page, where visitor Neema Hopkins-Nock asked about a case from nearly five years ago involving her niece Qua’Daishia Hopkins, who was just 10 years old when she was killed in an arson fire in Trenton.
“Hi I just wanted to know because my family never heard anything else about my neice Qua’daishia’s murder r yall still investigating her case or was she just forgottin….” — Neema Hopkins-Nock.
We’re including our response here as an explanation for her and to anyone who may be wondering whether their loved one will be featured on this site. As you’ll see in the response below, we encourage anyone affected by a homicide in Trenton to reach out to us to keep the dialogue going on current investigations and cases, as well as those in the past.
Today’s Comment of the Day comes from a reader with the screen name Vjdjlucy2, who added more praise to the Trenton Police Department for their quick arrest in the killing of Andre Corbett, along with more words of comfort to the victim’s family.
“I also like to thank from the bottom of my heart the TPD you guys did a great job!” the reader wrote. “I’m going to miss Andre, the first kid me and my brothers played with when we came to live with his grandmother n grandfather (our uncle)..I remember going to church on Sundays, n his grandma picking up my little brother to stay over for the weekend so Andre would have a playmate. I’m going to miss Andre although I hardly saw him, I knew he was around, now I have to live with the fact that I can’t see him ever again and reminiscing our old days. RIP my little cousin, my brothers and I will forever miss you.”
Today’s Comment of the Day comes from someone saying they are the grandparents of homicide victim Andre Corbett, who used their comment to thank the detectives who made a quick arrest in the case.
“We the grandparent of Andre Corbett want to thank front the bottom of our heart detective Rios and detective Cottrel for the job well done and God Bless the TPD . , from Florida Thank you Thank you Thank you,”read the comment left by someone with the screen name anasco4868.
A statement made in our most recent homicide story by the mother of Trenton’s latest victim has sparked much debate in online comment forums.
“They need to take these guns away,” said Theresa Corbett, mother of Andre Corbett, in an article by Brian Dzenis. “Everyone has guns, even kids.”
The grieving mother’s words have served to bring the gun control debate home to Trenton with people lining up on both sides of the argument.
Today’s Comment of the Day comes from a reader with the screen name Bettie, who seems to side with Corbett’s assessment while also addressing those who have cast aspersions against the victim, speculating that the lifestyle he lived contributed to his death.
“Guns, Guns everywhere…..and anybody can get easy access to one…..I pray that somehow we can get these guns off the street,” Bettie writes. “If there were more prison time given when you are caught with a gun illegally maybe and just maybe people would think twice about carrying….I have a son around this woman’s son age and he frequent those projects, I pray for him everyday…..You might not walk the straight and narrow, but God loves you and you are somebody’s son, brother, uncle, grandchild etc. No one deseves to die at the hands of another man…..One of the ten Commandments clearly states,”Thy shall not kill”. Who are you to take someone’s life? I will be praying for the mother and the family.”
Today’s Comment of the Day comes in two parts from the recent sentencing of Aljava Gaither.
Gaither received a sentence of 12 years for the killing of Craig Fitzgerald in a case portrayed as a personal dispute between the two men over $10.
On our recent story about the sentencing, the following comment was left by a reader with the screenname delham:
“Keep your head up Mr. Gaither. Do your time, get our early.
Anyone who examines the situation can see you acted in self defense.”
A different view of the case was written, however, when we posted a link to the story on the Homicide Watch Trenton Facebook page:
“They should of gave him life like he took a life.”