Trenton man indicted in connection with Halloween homicide

Donte Jones

Donte Jones

A city man accused in connection with a Halloween homicide has been indicted by a grand jury.

Donte Jones, 24, is charged with first-degree murder and related weapons offenses in connection with the shooting death of 36-year-old Levonza Thompson.

Around 11 p.m. on October 31, police found Thompson lying on the ground in the 200 block of Coolidge Avenue suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Police recovered 10 shell casings and a live round from the crime scene, and Thompson later died at the hospital. Read more

Judge raises security questions at status hearing for beating death in Trenton

A status hearing Monday for one of two men accused in the brutal beating death of a Guatemalan immigrant took an unexpected turn when the judge stepped off the bench and summoned one of his sheriff’s officers to a sidebar.

Michael Holman

Michael Holman

When Superior Court Judge Robert Billmeier returned to the bench, he said he was concerned about the security of his court room being “compromised,” an apparent reference to a man who had entered, left and re-entered the courtroom during a court appearance for 19-year-old Michael Holman.

The man’s relation to Holman was unclear, but Holman waived to him as he was being led away following the hearing.

The man appeared confused by the judge’s remarks as he had already been wanded down before entering the courtroom, a member of the judge’s security team said.

Holman is charged along with Dante Martin, also 19, for the Feb. 14, 2014 beating death of Julio Cesar Cruz, which caused uproar in the city’s Latino community.Read more

Teenager murdered in Trenton Friday night

By Trentonian reporters Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman and Penny Ray

The Serenity Garden at the corner of Prospect Street and Bellevue Avenue in Trenton stands in full vitality June 27, 2015, hours after a 16-year-old boy was shot and killed at that intersection. (Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman - Trentonian)

The Serenity Garden at the corner of Prospect Street and Bellevue Avenue in Trenton stands in full vitality June 27, 2015, hours after a 16-year-old boy was shot and killed at that intersection. (Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman - Trentonian)

Serenity Garden at the corner of Prospect Street and Bellevue Avenue was recently established to represent a place of beauty, peace and healing.

But on Friday night, that blissful intersection became a crime scene as an armed perpetrator shot and killed a 16-year-old boy who was remembered on Saturday as “a good kid.”

Jah’vae Minney of South Logan Avenue, Trenton, was shot in the chest about 11 p.m. and taken to Capital Health Regional Medical Center by a citizen. The teenager was pronounced dead shortly thereafter, according to police, who have neither arrested a suspect nor announced a description of the shooter as of Saturday afternoon.

“It is a shame that youth is getting caught up in the midst of the madness,” said Jason Rogers of Fathers and Men United for a Better Trenton as he stood Saturday morning on the landscape of Serenity Garden.

For Jah’vae to be gunned down in that area just a few hours earlier, “It had to be mistaken identity,” Rogers sad. “He was just on the bus stop.”

Jah’vae’s death marks the third homicide this week in Trenton. Read more

Two men murdered overnight in Trenton

Police guarded this home in the first block of Cummings Avenue were a man was shot and killed. June 24, 2015 (Penny Ray - Trentonian)

Police guard this home in the first block of Cummings Avenue were a man was shot and killed. June 24, 2015 (Penny Ray - Trentonian)

It seems as if violence in the city never takes a vacation — not even during the summer months.

Two men were murdered in Trenton this week bringing this year’s homicide count to double digits.

“We can’t continue to have vicious cycles,” City Council President Zachary Chester said. “We have to find solutions and make life better for everyone. We need everyone to come together to solve these problems.” Read more

Two Trenton men will face trial for shooting death of corrections officer

Two city men charged in the fatal shooting death of an off-duty Mercer County corrections officer are being tried in the fall, a judge said Friday.

Maurice Skillman

Maurice Skillman

Maurice Skillman and Hykeem Tucker, both 28, are expected to be tried together starting Nov. 30, for the slaying of Carl Batie, a 27-year-old corrections officer who was gunned down Nov. 11, 2011 while he was attending a party celebrating the reelection of President Barack Obama at the Baldassari Regency banquet hall in Chambersburg.

Batie, who was not the intended target of the gang-related shooting, was struck in the head and killed instantly, prosecutors said.

Superior Court Judge Robert Billmeier ruled Tucker will not be tried separately from his codefendant. Tucker’s attorney tried fruitlessly to have the men severed, arguing Skillman would exonerate his client if he were allowed to take the stand and testify in a separate trial.Read more

Prosecutors: Infidelity led Trenton woman to murder her boyfriend

One of Paris France Way’s friends said his friend liked women, “probably to a fault.” Way’s way with women appears to have led to his death.

His girlfriend, Charlotte Carman, 38, of Trenton, apparently lashed out at him in the early-morning hours of May 31, stabbing him four times near the intersection of Sherman and St. Joes when she discovered he had been out with another woman, officials said.

She then slashed the tires of his Hyundai Sonata, returned to where he was laying in the street, stabbed him once more and spat on him, First Assistant Prosecutor Tom Meidt said. Prosecutors revealed at a bail hearing Friday this all happened as Way’s mistress watched in horror.

Read more

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