Trial for Smalley murder assigned to new judge, may see court sooner

Undeterred by a possible life sentence if he is found guilty by a jury, Shaheed Brown, who has repeatedly clamored for a speedy trial in the slaying of another man outside a city bar last year, is getting his wish.

Prosecutors say this surveillance photo shows Shaheed Brown (left) and Enrico Smalley Jr. minutes before Smalley was gunned down outside of La Guira Bar on July 12, 2014.

Prosecutors say this surveillance photo shows Shaheed Brown (left) and Enrico Smalley Jr. minutes before Smalley was gunned down outside of La Guira Bar on July 12, 2014.

He could be tried for the murder of Enrico Smalley Jr. as early as September, The Trentonian has learned.

At a hearing last month, Brown, who has maintained his innocence, rejected prosecutors’ final plea offer of 45 years if he admitted fatally shooting Smalley outside of La Guira Bar in July 2014.

No official date has been set for the trial, which is expected to last up to four weeks. Read more

Trenton woman arrested in connection with murder of Paris France Way

Paris France Way (Contributed photo)

Paris France Way (Contributed photo)

When Johnathan Nealy learned that his friend of 22 years was stabbed to death last month, the blood rushed out of his head and his body turned cold.

Nealy said he learned about the stabbing death of 33-year-old Paris France Way after someone posted the link to a Homicide Watch article on Facebook.

“I laid there shocked, and reread the article multiple times,” Nealy said. “I’m still shocked to this day. Every couple of hours it’ll pop into my head, and I’ll think about him. I still expect to receive a text from him, or for him to ring my doorbell.”

Around 2 a.m. on May 31, police found Way lying in the intersection of Sherman and St. Joes avenues suffering from multiple stab wounds to the chest. Way later died at the hospital. Read more

Trenton man indicted in connection with 2014 murder of Silas Johnson

Randy Kareem Washington

Randy Kareem Washington

A city man accused of killing two people last year has been indicted in connection with one of the cases.

Randy Washington, 34, was recently indicted on charges of murder, related weapons offenses, resisting arrest, obstructing the administration of law and criminal trespass in connection with the shooting death of 64-year-old Silas Johnson. Washington remains in jail on $2.3 million bail.

Johnson was gunned down near the intersection of Market Street and the Route 1 overpass on the morning of Oct. 29. When police arrived on-scene, they found him lying on the ground suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Johnson was then taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later. Witnesses told police that Washington was in a struggle with Johnson when he produced a handgun and fired several times. Police apprehended Washington on Conover Alley shortly after the shooting.
Read more

Man shot and killed on St. Joes Avenue Sunday morning

Police process a murder scene in the 300 block of St. Joes Avenue. June 7, 2015 (Penny Ray - Trentonian)

Police process a murder scene in the 300 block of St. Joes Avenue. June 7, 2015 (Penny Ray - Trentonian)

Several evidence placards littered the sidewalk and front porch of a city home as a half a dozen law enforcement officials processed a crime scene early Sunday morning.

Two people stood on the corner of Girard and St. Joes avenues watching law enforcement do their jobs. The citizens refused to talk, but the somber expression on their faces was enough to know that the morning’s events affected them. A handful of others stopped by the intersection over the course of about 30 minutes. Each of them had the same look on their face and no one said a word. They didn’t need to speak. The scene itself was enough to know that another person was murdered in Trenton. Read more

Brown and Dawson each sentenced to 50 years in prison for murder of Tracy Crews

The best man convicted of killing his close friend, a Trenton drug dealer, in a botched home invasion in 2008 maintained his innocence before he was sentenced to 50 years in prison for the slaying, his attorney confirmed.

Nigel Dawson and William Brown are accused of the 2008 murder of Tracy Crews. (Submitted photos)

Nigel Dawson and William Brown were convicted of the 2008 murder of Tracy Crews. (Submitted photos)

William “Paperboy” Brown, 30, and Nigel Joseph Dawson, 31, were each convicted in February of first-degree murder, felony murder, robbery and weapons offenses following a six-week trial before Superior Court Judge Andrew Smithson.

The duo faced a life sentence for the murder of Tracy Crews, a convicted drug dealer and Bloods gang member who was shot in the neck inside his Whittaker Avenue residence Sept 12, 2008 so the defendants could make off with $40,000 in drug proceeds. The judge handed down a 50-year sentence instead. Read more

City man stabbed to death Sunday morning in Trenton

A 33-year-old city man was stabbed to death in the area of St. Joe’s and Sherman Avenues early Sunday morning.

According to Casey DeBlasio, a spokeswoman for the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, Paris France Way was found suffering from stab wounds after police received a call about the stabbing in the area around 1:57 a.m.

Way was taken to Capital Health Regional Medical Center where he succumbed to his wounds a short time later, DeBlasio said. Read more

Shaheed Brown rejects plea deal for murder charges, will head to trial

The murder case against a Trenton man accused of fatally

Prosecutors say this surveillance photo shows Shaheed Brown (left) and Enrico Smalley Jr. minutes before Smalley was gunned down outside of La Guira Bar on July 12, 2014.

Prosecutors say this surveillance photo shows Shaheed Brown (left) and Enrico Smalley Jr. minutes before Smalley was gunned down outside of La Guira Bar on July 12, 2014.

shooting Enrico Smalley Jr. outside a violence-riddled city bar last year is headed for trial.

Shaheed Brown, 30, who is accused of gunning down Smalley outside of La Guira Bar in July 2014, said he was “absolutely” rejecting prosecutors’ final plea offer of 45 years for murder.

A repeat offender with convictions for aggravated assault and aggravated arson, Brown was advised by Judge Robert Billmeier that he could be sentenced to up to 75 years in prison if he is found guilty by a jury at trial. He responded firmly that he understood.

The judge did not set a date for trial, which is expected to last up to four weeks. Billmeier said he would have to find a lull in his schedule, which is jam-packed with murder trials.

Billmeier recently presided over the murder trial of Keith Wells-Holmes, who was acquitted earlier this week of murder.Read more

Not guilty verdict delivered in Trenton murder trial for 2013 death

Keith Wells-Holmes embraced his attorney, thanked her for saving his life and promised to attend college moments after a jury acquitted him of gunning down a Trenton man in 2013 in a brazen broad daylight shooting captured by city surveillance cameras outside the apartment complex.

Keith Wells Holmes

Keith Wells Holmes

A jury deliberated for about six hours over two days before returning the not guilty verdict Wednesday in Mercer County Superior Court to counts of murder and weapons offenses.

Before arriving at their decision, they reviewed footage of Wells-Holmes’ Jan. 21, 2013 visits to a relative’s Oakland Street apartment as well as footage of the shooter unloading multiple rounds on Andre Corbett at point-blank range. Jurors watched several camera angles and asked prosecutors to zoom in on Wells-Holmes and the gunman, looking for discernible differences in their appearance.

After the jury forewoman read the not guilty verdict aloud in court, Wells-Holmes’ attorney, Caroline Turner, asked the court to order her client released immediately.Read more

Wells-Holmes trial goes to jury

Keith Wells Holmes

Keith Wells-Holmes

A man known on the streets as Blick was having “beef” with some people two days before Trenton graffiti artist Andre Corbett was murdered in January 2013.

Blick is actually Isiah Greene, according to testimony in the murder trial of Keith Wells-Holmes. Holmes is charged with gunning down Corbett in broad daylight outside an apartment complex on Hoffman Avenue and Oakland Street.

What does Blick’s beef and text messages referencing bullets have to do with the death of Corbett? Everything if you’re defense attorney Caroline Turner, whose theory is premised on a third-party guilt defense that raised the specter Greene killed Corbett. Read more

Trenton murder trial marked with drama, uncommon proceedings in fifth day

Bleary eyed attorneys walked out of court Wednesday following

Keith Wells Holmes

Keith Wells Holmes

an exhausting, drama-filled day in the murder trial of Keith Wells-Holmes that required them to work through part of their lunch hour.

Tempers flared as a judge wagged his finger at a defense attorney. Witnesses invoked their constitutional rights to avoid self-incrimination. And Wells-Holmes’ codefendant, who is being tried separately, was granted immunity by a judge to testify against Wells-Holmes but ended up exonerating him for the first time in front of the jury.

An attorney who shall remain nameless apprised by multiple people who participated in and sat in on the trial Wednesday said everyone candidly described the proceedings the same way: “S—t show.”Read more