Latin King gang members who testified against their leader couldn’t get his nickname right, let alone a story they gave prosecutors about how they carried out his orders to murder fellow gang members, the defendant said at a past trial.
Jose “Boom Bat” Negrete
A jury Thursday heard previous testimony of Jose “Boom Bat” Negrete, who is on trial a fourth time for ordering the murder of gang “queen” Jeri Lynn Dotson and a botched attempt on the life of gang turncoat Alex Ruiz.
In his previous testimony, Negrete said his nickname is “Boom Bap,” a moniker he earned as teenager by beating up a bully. Boom Bap are words that appear in cartoon sound clouds when Batman finishes his opponents, the defendant said.
But Negrete denied ordering his henchmen to “finish” Ruiz or Dotson after she witnessed several gang members lure her platonic roommate away from the Chestnut Street home they shared Aug. 30, 2004.
“I’m not a coward,” Negrete previously testified when asked by his former attorney if he ordered Dotson killed. “That’s some coward s–.” Read more
They came here to see testimony from witnesses implicating a Latin Kings leader for ordering the brutal 2004 murder of a gang “queen” and attempted murder of a gang turncoat.
But the troupe of high school students in attendance at Jose “Boom Bat” Negrete’s fourth murder trial was forced to settle for the disemboweled voice of Latin Kings gang member Rhadames “Havy” Acosta, played by a detective in the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.
Detective Roberto Reyes took the stand once again Tuesday in place of Acosta, who last week said under the threat of contempt he would not testify against Negrete for ordering the execution-style murder of Jeri Lynn Dotson to ensure her silence after she witnessed several gang members lure gang turncoat Alex Ruiz from the Chestnut Avenue home they shared.
Jose “Boom Bat” Negrete’s fourth murder trial isn’t over, and his attorney already raised the specter of a fifth trial Thursday when he renewed concerns his client’s constitutional rights are being trampled so the state can get its so-far elusive conviction.
Safe to say those issues will form the basis of a future appeal attorney Jack Furlong will file on behalf of the Latin Kings leader, who is accused of ordering the 2004 murder of gang “queen” Jeri Lynn Dotson and botched murder attempt of gang turncoat Alex Ruiz.
Negrete has already had an 80-year sentence overturned by the appellate court because of jury misconduct.
A former Latin Kings gang member testified Wednesday he overheard Latin Kings leader Jose “Boom Bat” Negrete give a direct order to execute gang turncoat Alex Ruiz whose defection from a rival gang sparked a war.
Roberto “Bam Bam” Rodriguez, 40, recounted for a jury how he and three other gang members were sent Aug. 30, 2004, to the Chestnut Street home Ruiz shared with Jeri Lynn Dotson with the intent of beating him.
All that changed once they arrived.
Rodriguez, once the leader of the Latin Kings who is now free after serving a 12-year sentence in state prison the attempt on Ruiz, said he was within earshot of a phone conversation between Negrete and Esmeraldo “Esmo” Rodriguez, Negrete’s second in command.
When Jose “Boom Bat” Negrete was installed as leader of the Latin Kings in the summer of 2004, the group underwent a stark transformation, from a loosely organized group of men who grew up together in Trenton, into a feared street gang, codified by a commitment to crime and carrying out orders, a former gang member said.
Wilfredo “Hype” Rosa, who spent nearly a dozen years as a Latin King after joining as a teenager, testified Tuesday he also witnessed the evolution of Angel “Ace” Hernandez, from a young boy into a cold-blooded convicted killer serving a life sentence for fatally shooting Latin “Queen” Jeri Lynn Dotson on Aug. 31, 2004.
In chilling testimony, Rosa, now 32, said he and Hernandez visited the woman’s neighborhood hours after Hernandez executed Dotson at point-blank range inside the basement of her Chestnut Street apartment. Hernandez apparently didn’t stir when the duo noticed the area overrun by police officers and cordoned off by yellow police tape.
Two men convicted of fatally shooting convicted drug dealer Tracy Crews during a 2008 botched robbery are asking a judge to render a jury’s verdict moot and acquit them of murder.
William “Paperboy” Brown, 30, and Nigel “Youngin” Dawson, 31, were convicted last month of felony murder, murder, robbery and weapons offenses following a six-week jury trial. They face life in prison when they are sentenced April 10 by Superior Court Judge Andrew Smithson.
Nigel Dawson and William Brown are accused of the 2008 murder of Tracy Crews. (Submitted photos)
Their attorneys argue Smithson’s decision to allow in Crews’ dying declaration biased the jury, especially after a previous judge ruled it was inadmissible.
Steven Lember, Brown’s attorney, wrote in his motion Smithson’s decision “irreparably damaged” the defendants’ right to a fair trial. Anticipating Smithson will deny the motion for acquittal, Lember also requested a new trial.
Two people were murdered in Trenton within a 24-hour period.
Police inspect a car that a driver who was shot crashed into a building on Ardmore Avenue. March 11, 2015 (Trentonian/L.A. Parker)
Around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, police were dispatched to the 400 block of Ardmore Avenue to investigate reported gunfire and found a man suffering from at least one gunshot wound. The victim was taken to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead. His name and age were not available at press time.
Police scanners reported that the man was driving a car and crashed it into a building. Investigators were on-scene looking for evidence inside the car, but it is unclear how much damage was caused to the building. Read more
The former beau of a Latin “queen” gang member allegedly ordered killed by Latin King gang leader Jose Negrete testified Wednesday he knew something was wrong when he encountered a swarm of police officers in his former girlfriend’s neighborhood after he was dispatched there to pick up a vehicle.
Dimas Peralta, a former high-ranking Latin Kings gang member and the father of murder victim Jeri Lynn Dotson’s two children, said he was on call as a tow truck driver when he arrived at Dotson’s Chestnut Street apartment around 8 a.m. on Aug. 31, 2004.
He was intercepted by a detective, who asked him if he knew a young girl sitting outside of the home. Peralta recognized the girl as his daughter. He was informed police needed to speak with him at headquarters.
Fifteen hours passed, Peralta said, before he was informed his former girlfriend was killed. She was shot in the head and left on the basement floor of her Chestnut Street apartment with a cigarette lighter and piece of candy on her body.
A former leader of the Ñetas street gang testified Tuesday he ordered underlings to beat gang turncoat Alex Ruiz for more than 20 minutes near railroad tracks at a park after he defected to the Latin Kings, triggering a war between the rival factions.
Fernando Rivera, the Ñetas’ former top boss, said the only reason he didn’t order Ruiz murdered was because the victim’s brother was a member of the Ñetas. Apparently even in gangland culture, blood is thicker than beef.
“To be honest,” said Rivera, whose own criminal rap sheet includes convictions for kidnapping, aggravated assault and drug trafficking, “the reason I didn’t kill Alex was because of his brother. I can’t take his family member out even though he crossed the line.”
Rivera’s testimony in the fourth murder trial of Latin Kings gang leader Jose Negrete was startling even on a day filled with fireworks. Another witness’ refusal to answer prosecutors’ questions could lead to him being held in contempt.
A Trenton man admitted Monday he pried a knife from the hands of his girlfriend and stabbed her to death after she attacked him during a jealous rage.
Jose Delgado-Febres, 39, acknowledged stabbing 27-year-old Yerika Hernandez in the back during an early-morning argument April 28, 2009 that erupted after his live-in girlfriend accused him of cheating. Read more