Trenton gunman murders Mason’s barber in 2013 robbery, gets convicted at trial

Zaire Smith

Zaire Smith

A city man has been convicted of murdering popular local barber Rasheen Jones during the commission of a July 2013 armed robbery.

Zaire K. Smith, 24, of Trenton, faces 30 years to life in prison after a jury found him guilty this week of first-degree felony murder and related offenses in the grisly slaying of Jones.

The murder occurred on July 23, 2013, when Smith and co-defendant Knovell Desmond targeted Jones in a senseless stickup. Read more

Mother who abandoned newborn girl gets state prison term

Yardis Perez-Perez (MCPO)

Yardis Perez-Perez (MCPO)

A mother who abandoned her newborn daughter in a vacant building in New Jersey’s capital city last year is now headed to prison.

Yardis Perez-Perez pleaded guilty last December to manslaughter and child endangerment charges. She was sentenced Friday to concurrent five-year state prison terms with no chance for early release.

Perez-Perez gave birth to a nameless child and left the baby girl for dead following a night of debauchery that involved drugs and wild sex on South Broad Street.

Mercer County prosecutors say the 27-year-old Trenton resident’s child was only a day or two old when she was found April 23 in a vacant building. They say Perez-Perez gave birth to the child and abandoned her a short time later, providing little or no care for the infant.

The newborn’s cause of death was ruled the result of “neonatal abandonment following unattended birth” with a contributing cause of death listed as “maternal use of heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Pennsylvania inmate confesses in Trenton vehicular homicide case

A city man already incarcerated for violent crime in Pennsylvania will serve at least three more years in state prison for striking and killing 44-year-old John Covington in a vicious vehicular homicide in Trenton’s West Ward.

Robert McFadden

Robert McFadden

Robert McFadden, 26, of Trenton, admits he mowed down Covington on the 500 block of Rutherford Avenue near Gregory Elementary School. The reckless death by auto occurred about 7:15 p.m. Jan. 16, 2015.

McFadden slammed into Covington as the victim was crossing the street while pushing a shopping cart, The Trentonian previously reported. Authorities at the time said McFadden was driving while intoxicated but stopped his vehicle and remained at the scene following the deadly crash. Read more

Gunman who murdered Trenton teen Shamere Melvin now expresses remorse, gets 42 years in prison

Convicted murderer Alberto “Choppy” Lopez has finally been punished for his deadly crimes.

Alberto Lopez

Alberto Lopez

A Superior Court judge on Friday sentenced Lopez to 42 years of incarceration for executing 17-year-old Shamere Melvin during a planned robbery in the streets of Trenton.

“He is greatly missed; he was the glue of my family,” the victim’s mother Natasha Melvin said at Friday’s sentencing hearing. “He didn’t deserve the way he was executed.”

Lopez, 21, of Trenton, pointed a handgun at Melvin and fired a single shot into the victim’s forehead about 8:40 p.m. Dec. 18, 2013. The incident occurred on the 300 block of North Clinton Avenue near Trenton Police headquarters back when Lopez was 16. Read more

Jury convicts Trenton man in 2015 Donnelly Homes slaying

The man accused of fatally stabbing 43-year-old Edward Nock at a city housing complex in 2015 is now facing 30 years to life in prison as a convicted felon.

Edward Kevin Nock (contributed photo)

Edward Kevin Nock (contributed photo)

Isaac Grey, 35, of Trenton, has been found guilty of murder, tampering with a witness, bribery and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose for allegedly killing Nock at the Donnelly Homes on June 30, 2015, according to the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.

Handing down its swift verdict on Wednesday, the trial jury actually acquitted Grey of unlawful possession of a weapon. The alleged killer, however, still faces decades behind bars on the murder conviction alone, authorities said.

Read more

Trenton man shot in the head Thursday morning

William Johenkins

William Johenkins

A man who was accused of murder in the 1990s, and later admitted to a related robbery charge, was gunned down early Thursday morning, becoming the capital city’s first homicide victim of the year.

William Johenkins, 45, was found inside a silver minivan with a gunshot wound to the face. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police found the van parked in the first block of Hanford Place around 12:40 a.m., after receiving a call about a gunshot victim in the vehicle. Read more

Philly man killed in Trenton over $1,000 in heroin: COURT DOCUMENTS

Issiaha Bivens

Issiaha Bivens

Court documents related to the death of a Philadelphia man allege he and a partner were robbed during a heroin deal in the capital city.

Arrest documents also say cops recovered evidence that directly links Ewing resident Issiaha Bivens to the fatal robbery, which happened in the Wilbur Section of the city on the night of November 18.

Bivens is charged with felony murder, robbery, attempted murder and other offenses related to the slaying of 27-year-old Eric Severino, who died about an hour after cops found him suffering from gunshot wounds in a white Dodge Journey near the intersection of Walnut Avenue and Monmouth Street. Read more

2 self-confessed killers receive heavy prison sentences

Justice has been served.

Two self-confessed killers — Jose C. Garcia and Wade Williams — are now serving time in the big house.

Jose C. Garcia (left) and Wade Williams

Jose C. Garcia (left) and Wade Williams

Garcia, 20, of Hamilton, has been sentenced to 17 years of incarceration for stabbing 48-year-old Brenda Garzio to death. He stabbed the victim multiple times on the on the 900 block of South Broad Street in the capital city about 11:10 p.m. May 28, 2017.

Williams, 43, of Trenton, has been sentenced to 12 years of incarceration for shooting and killing 51-year-old Tyrone “Big Face” King Sr. in broad daylight Sept. 17, 2017. The slaying occurred on the 900 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in North Trenton. Read more

Ewing man arrested for murder Wednesday night

Issiaha Bivens

Issiaha Bivens

Cops arrested a Ewing man Wednesday night, charging him in connection with a murder that happened in November.

Issiaha Bivens, 20, was charged with murder, felony murder, robbery, attempted murder, theft, aggravated assault and weapons offenses related to the death of 27-year-old Eric Severino.

When homicide detectives searched Bivens’ Upland Avenue home they found 18 bricks of heroin in his bedroom, as well as several cell phones. As a result, Bivens has been additionally charged with possession of narcotics. Read more

2018: Trenton’s homicides by the numbers

Police investigate the scene of a fatal shooting on the 300 block of Spring Street in Trenton.  Penny Ray - The Trentonian

Police investigate the scene of a fatal shooting on the 300 block of Spring Street in Trenton.
Penny Ray - The Trentonian

The capital city concluded 2018 with 21 homicides, which includes the death of 52-year-old Michael Anderson, who was shot on a Wayne Avenue porch during the early morning hours of June 7, 2017.

Mercer County prosecutors confirmed Anderson’s January 15th death will be counted as a 2018 statistic, even though he suffered the gunshot injuries seven months prior to dying.

Last year’s homicide toll also includes three vehicular deaths, as well as the death of an abandoned newborn and the death of Tahaij Wells, who was shot and killed by police during a shootout at an all-night arts festival this past summer.

According to the state police uniform crime reporting unit, vehicular homicides are considered manslaughter and are not reported as a homicide statistic. Justifiable homicides are not counted in state police murder statistics either.

Therefore, state police will likely report Trenton’s official 2018 homicide number as 15 or 16, possibly excluding a fatal beating at the psychiatric hospital, and certainly excluding the newborn whose cause of death was ruled the result of “neonatal abandonment following unattended birth” with a contributing cause of death listed as “maternal use of heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine.” Read more