Prosecutors say man accused of shooting Trenton boxer gave taped confession

A Trenton man accused of fatally shooting former boxer Steven Brannon admitted to the murder in a taped confession, prosecutors said.

William Snead III, 31, is accused of opening fire on two men March 10 outside of his city apartment last month, mortally wounding Brannon, and injuring Marvin Williams.

Steven Quinton Brannon

Steven Quinton Brannon

Snead told authorities that a .40-caliber handgun State Police found during a drug raid of his East Hanover residence was the same one he used to kill Brannon.

Snead faces counts of murder, aggravated assault and weapons offenses.

Brannon was shot in the throat, lost too much blood and succumbed to his injuries after being taken to Capital Health Regional Medical Center; Williams spent a few days in the hospital, nursing a gunshot wound to the hip.

During a bail hearing Wednesday, Assistant Prosecutor William Fisher said prosecutors are waiting to see whether ballistics from a bullet recovered from Williams confirm it was fired from the handgun found inside Snead’s apartment. Read more

Jury deliberations begin in fourth ‘Boom Bat’ trial for 2004 Trenton murder

TRENTON >> Jurors began deliberations in the fourth murder trial of Latin Kings leader Jose Negrete but broke for the day without reaching a verdict.

The 12-member panel, which will decide whether it believes Negrete ordered the 2004 murder of gang “queen” Jeri Lynn Dotson and botched murder attempt on gang turncoat Alex Ruiz, was handed the case Tuesday after being charged on the law.

Jose “Boom Bat” Negrete

Jose “Boom Bat” Negrete

Judge Pedro Jimenez’s courtroom was devoid of any action for much of the day. Members of Negrete’s family were perched outside the courtroom for part of the day waiting for any indication of a verdict, but it never came. Jimenez dismissed jurors around 4 p.m. and ordered them to return to court Wednesday morning to resume deliberations.Read more

One of the men charged in connection to killing of Rodney Burke admits to plot to rob him

TRENTON >> One of three people charged as accomplices in the fatal shooting death of Rodney Burke admitted he was involved in a plot to rob the 48-year-old but denied any involvement in his murder, prosecutors said.

But Assistant Prosecutor Lew Korngut said at a bail hearing Tuesday authorities believe Jaquan Dallas, 20, is one of two men who could have fired the fatal shot that killed Burke in the early-morning hours of Nov. 4, outside of a South Broad Street apartment, following a botched robbery.

Rodney Burke

Rodney Burke

A second male captured on surveillance fleeing the scene shortly after witnesses heard gunfire remains unidentified and at large, prosecutors said.

Two others, Kenneth Hines, 34, and Alexa Gomez, 30, have been arrested and charged with murder and conspiracy. Gomez is accused of setting up the robbery while Hines is believed to have driven the getaway car, prosecutors said.

Witnesses said Gomez, who is being held on $1 million, was acting suspicious and asked Burke to go with her to the store shortly before the murder. Hines, who remains incarcerated on $750,000 bail, was on crutches at the time he was behind the wheel of a white Suzuki SUV, prosecutors said.Read more

Jose ‘Boom Bat’ Negrete trial wrapping up closing arguments

Latin Kings leader Jose “Boom Bat” Negrete “is not an innocent man,” his attorney said during closing arguments in his client’s fourth murder trial.

“But he is not guilty of the crimes in this indictment,” defense attorney Jack Furlong said Thursday, referring to charges of murder, conspiracy and attempted murder.TRT-L-negrete jose 0560

That distinction was important for Negrete, who is accused of ordering the summer 2004 murder of gang “queen” Jeri Lynn Dotson and the botched murder of gang turncoat Alex Ruiz.

The state has tried for the better part of a decade to convict the Latin Kings leader, relying on some of the gang leader’s former henchmen who have testified against him. It believed it had succeeded in 2009 when a jury found Negrete guilty, only to see the appellate court later overturn an 80-year conviction because of jury misconduct.

In his closing, Deputy First Assistant Prosecutor Tom Meidt pointed to several late-night phone calls between Negrete and Dotson shortly before she was killed, saying the state believes Negrete was reassuring Dotson nothing was wrong after a beat-up Ruiz showed up at the Chestnut Street home they shared complaining how he was set up by the Latin Kings.

Meidt said the defendant was “sleepwalking” Dotson the same way his henchmen did Ruiz.

Read more

‘Boom Bat’ will not testify in his fourth murder trial

Standing tall before the judge in his pea-colored suit, his hands nestled inside his pockets, Latin King leader Jose Negrete told the court Wednesday he would not testify in his fourth murder trial.

“I’m going to let him run the show,” said Negrete, referring to his attorney, Jack Furlong. Furlong advised his client against taking the stand.TRT-L-NEGRETE JOSE 62

And with that, summations begin Thursday afternoon, and the jury will begin deliberating next week whether Negrete ordered the August 2004 murder of gang “queen” Jeri Lynn Dotson and botched murder attempt on gang turncoat Alex Ruiz.

Negrete testified at past trials but said he arrived at his decision not to testify this time around after consulting with Furlong. Moments before Negrete announced his decision, Furlong playfully threatened to sic his client’s mother on him if he changed his mind.

Read more

Trenton man serving jail time indicted in connection with 2006 murder

A Trenton man has been indicted in connection with the 2006 murder of 27-year-old Kevin Thomas.

According to prosecutors in the case, Thomas, of Hamilton, was shot and killed around 4 a.m. on September 3, 2006. He was a passenger in a car that was stopped at a red light at the corner of East State and Chambers streets when a dark-colored SUV pulled up beside him. Someone inside the SUV then fired several shots at the other vehicle, according to prosecutors. Read more

Trenton man charged in 2014 murder also now accused of 2012 Ewing murder

A city man accused in the 2014 springtime murder of a former drug dealer was recently charged with killing a Ewing man in 2012 during a botched robbery after recent witnesses came forward, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Markquice “Tank” Thomas, 29, is charged with the brazen broad daylight shooting of 22-year-old Jared Littlejohn, who was kidnapped Sept. 27, 2012 and driven to a parking lot on Parkside Avenue where he was shot and run over with his own vehicle, prosecutors said. He is being held on a combined $1.6 million cash-only bail.

During a bail hearing Assistant Prosecutor Michelle Gasparian said Littlejohn is seen on a soundless video surveillance screaming and struggling to get out of the passenger’s side of his vehicle before he is forcibly pulled back in before being driven to an apartment complex parking lot where he was shot in the head.

Read more

Four Liberian men accused of 2011 killing reject plea deals will see trial together

Four Liberian men accused in the execution-style slaying of Liberian immigrant and U.S. Army veteran Dardar Paye rejected final plea offers from prosecutors calling for 30-year sentences for murder and will be tried together next year, a judge said Tuesday. Read more

Man charged in roommate’s stabbing death rejects deal

A Trenton man accused of stabbing his roommate to death in 2013 maintains he acted in self-defense and rejected an offer calling for a 30-year sentence if he pleads guilty to murder. Read more

Mother charged for not seeking medical treatment after daughter was allegedly beaten to death

The mother of a 5-year-old girl who died after her father bludgeoned her in the head with a brush handle in July 2012 admitted she did not seek medical treatment for her daughter.

Dominique Smith, 24, and Masceo Emanuel, 27, were charged with murder as a result of the death of their daughter, Diamond Smith. Emanuel accepted a plea deal earlier this month calling for a 25-year sentence after he admitted he grew angry with the girl and struck her while he was caring for her July 10, 2012. Read more