‘Sea’ of supporters for slain corrections officer questioned for murder trial

A judge expressed reservations Tuesday about a “sea” of uniformed supporters packing the courtroom for the murder trial of two city men accused of fatally shooting a Mercer County corrections officer in 2011.

Carl Batie

Carl Batie

A large contingent of family, friends and colleagues of slain corrections officer Carl Batie are expected to attend different stages of the trial of Maurice Skillman and Hykeem Tucker, who are charged with Batie’s murder.

The off-duty corrections officer was shot in the head Nov. 11, 2011 at the Baldassari Regency banquet hall in Chambersburg while he was attending a re-election party for President Barack Obama.

He was not the intended target and was struck in a random hail of gunfire. For that reason, prosecutors are barred from mentioning his occupation in their opening and closing remarks to jurors, although Batie’s brother is expected to testify that his brother was a corrections officer.Read more

Trenton men to go on trial for murder of Mercer County corrections officer

Delayed by a month when prosecutors were late in turning over hundreds of pages of discovery, the murder trial of two men suspected of killing a Mercer County corrections officer in 2011 is expected to go forward this week.

Maurice Skillman, the brother of oft-arrested Marquis Skillman, and Hykeem Tucker and their attorneys will begin the arduous process of selecting a jury this week following years of waiting behind bars for a chance to rebut murder allegations.

Maurice Skillman

Maurice Skillman

They are charged in the slaying of Carl Batie, an off-duty corrections officer who was shot in the head Nov. 11, 2011 at the Baldassari Regency banquet hall in Chambersburg while he was attending a re-election party for President Barack Obama.

Jury selection is expected to take several days and openings arguments will likely commence late this week or early next week.

Skillman is represented by public defenders Nicole Carlo and Jason Charles Matey while Tucker is represented by defense attorney Christopher Campbell. Read more

Mother of murdered Trenton man sues Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office

Talaya Greenfield sits before a Trentonian cafeteria table with documents and papers related to her slain son on Nov. 6, 2015 during an interview. (Scott Ketterer - The Trentonian)

Talaya Greenfield sits before a Trentonian cafeteria table with documents and papers related to her slain son on Nov. 6, 2015 during an interview. (Scott Ketterer - The Trentonian)

Talaya Greenfield scooped a handful of documents and pictures from her purse and spread them out across a small table.

This was all that is left of her son, 23-year-old Jamer, who was fatally shot in Trenton on July 14, 2014. His killer remains on the prowl.

Talaya is left with questions she says the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office has not satisfactorily answered. She wrote to Acting Attorney General John Hoffman last year.

He couldn’t help, so now she’s suing the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.

It’s an unfair fight, a single mother who was forced to drop out of high school after she became pregnant with her first son, pitted against a powerhouse of attorneys with law degrees from a plethora of prestigious schools, decades of experience and resources galore.

This is David vs. Goliath, captioned Greenfield v. Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, et al. Read more

Two men arrested in connection with Elvin Kimble homicide

Two men were arrested in the shooting death of Elvin Kimble, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office said Friday.

According to a release, the pair were arrested on Friday morning in connection with the 19-year-old’s death.

Jermaine Johnson

Jermaine Johnson

Jermaine Johnson, 40, of Ewing and Gary M. Spears, 33, of Trenton by the Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the U.S. Marshals. Johnson was arrested at his home, and Spears was taken into custody at a relative’s home, the prosecutor’s office said.

Both men are currently charged with murder, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and unlawful possession of a weapon. Each man had his bail set at $1 million.

The charges are the result of an investigation by prosecutor’s Detective Nancy Diaz and the homicide task force.

The victim, Elvin Kimble, died of a single gunshot wound to the back the release said. His body was discovered near a parked van behind a home on Division Street on Nov. 24, 2015 around 6:15 a.m.

Trenton man charged as murder accomplice gets 5 years on VOP

A probation violation on a drug conviction was the least of Zihqwan “Woodiey” Clemens’ problems. He is also facing murder charges for allegedly being an accomplice in the 2013 slaying of a Trenton man.

Zihqwan Clemens

Zihqwan Clemens

On Thursday, the probation violation became a big problem for Clemens when things didn’t go the way he planned.

Clemens pleaded guilty in October to violating probation for not paying fines and missing appointments with his probation officer.

Last year co-defendant Keith Wells-Holmes was tried and acquitted of the shooting death of graffiti artist Andre Corbett. Following the acquittal Clemens, the alleged getaway driver, had his bail was reduced to $250,000 from $1 million. Read more

Trenton woman who killed second ex-boyfriend gets fewer years than for first homicide

A wheel-chair-bound Edna White had suffered a stroke and the elevator from the holding cell leading to Courtroom 2C was out of commission, forcing a cadre of sheriff’s officers to maneuver her past reporters in the courtroom gallery and shuffle chairs to get her situated for sentencing.

Edna White

Edna White

“We played musical chairs,” one of the sheriff’s officers said. “You won, Ms. White.”

That wasn’t the only prize for White, 58, on Thursday inside Mercer County Superior Court.

While she didn’t win her freedom, she effectively beat murder charges, and with it, a life sentence.

White pleaded guilty in November to a lesser count of aggravated manslaughter for fatally stabbing her former boyfriend and father of her child, Dwelle Jerome Clark, on Feb. 14, 2014, during an argument over $20 at his mother’s boarding home.Read more

New attorney subs in for Trenton teen charged with murder

A Trenton teenager accused of fatally shooting another teen during a botched drug deal has a new attorney.

Alberto Lopez, 18, is now represented by defense attorney Mark Fury. He was being represented by public defender Jason Charles Matey.

Lopez was 16 when he allegedly shot 17-year-old Shamere Melvin in the head during a botched robbery in December 2013 on the 300 block of North Clinton Avenue.

Lopez has been transferred from a juvenile detention center in Burlington County to the Mercer County corrections center and is being held on $750,000 bail.Read more

Trenton man charged in two murders could be tried at single trial

A Trenton man charged with killing two people days apart in 2013 may have his murder cases tried together at a single trial if prosecutors have their way.

Assistant Prosecutor Stephanie Katz said she will file court papers, known as a

Alton Jones

Alton Jones

joinder, in the coming weeks asking to try Alton Jones together for the murders of Rayshawn Ransom and Tierra Green.

She said Jones used the same handgun to mow both Ransom and Green on Passaic Street in June 2013. Green was fatally shot in the stomach three days after Ransom was gunned down in a deadly, gang-related shootout that led to convictions of two other Trenton men.

A judge has scheduled oral arguments in Jones’ case for Feb. 16. Jones is expected to oppose prosecutors’ request for a joint trial.

Regardless of the outcome, Jones plans to fight both murder charges. Clad in a green jumpsuit, he nodded to supporters at the back of the courtroom, telling them to “Be safe” when a woman told him to keep his head up as he was led away in shackles from the courtroom. Read more

Two days, two dead

Police investigate a shooting in the area of Chambers Street and Walnut Avenue on Jan. 9, 2016. (Scott Ketterer- The Trentonian)

Police investigate a shooting in the area of Chambers Street and Walnut Avenue on Jan. 9, 2016. (Scott Ketterer- The Trentonian)

On New Year’s Eve, Shawntay Ross posted a meme on his Facebook page that said, “2016 will be a selfish year. My time will be invested on me. On improving myself. I want to become a better person physically and mentally.”

Nine days later, 39-year-old Ross was gunned down near the intersection of Walnut Avenue and Chambers Street. He died Sunday afternoon.

There’s nothing negative anyone can say about him,” Marie “Murf” Antionette, who has known Ross since they were teenagers, said. “Coming from this environment in which we were all raised, yes, he was incarcerated for a short period of time. But he didn’t bother anyone…not a single soul. He opened the door for his elders, he wouldn’t curse around his elders, and he wouldn’t smoke around his elders. He was trying to instill respectability in our youth.”

Sources who spoke on condition of anonymity say Ross seemed to be nervous on Saturday afternoon. But no one knows whether he was actually worried about something, or if that’s just how things appeared.

Police sources say Ross was not a major player in the drug game, and that he was not on law enforcement’s radar of people to watch. Read more

Man shot Saturday night dies in hospital

Police investigate a shooting in the area of Chambers Street and Walnut Avenue.  Jan. 9, 2016. (Scott Ketterer- The Trentonian)

Police investigate a shooting in the area of Chambers Street and Walnut Avenue. Jan. 9, 2016. (Scott Ketterer- The Trentonian)

A man who was shot Saturday night later died in the hospital, becoming the city’s second homicide victim this year.

Shawntay Ross, 39, was shot in the area of Walnut Avenue and Chambers Street around 6 p.m. Saturday. He died Sunday afternoon, according to a spokesperson with the county prosecutor’s office.

Sources suggested another victim may have been wounded in the shooting Saturday night, but that information has not been officially confirmed by police.

On Saturday afternoon, 24-year-old Jovan Marino died from injuries suffered during a shooting that happened Friday night.

Anyone with information about either of the murders is asked to call the Mercer County Homicide Task Force at (609) 989-6406 or contact the Trenton Police confidential tip line at (609) 989-3663. Individuals may also call the Trenton Crime Stoppers tip line at (609) 278-8477. Those wishing to text a tip can send a message labeledTCSTIPS to Trenton Crime Stoppers at 274637.