Man shot and killed on Riverside Drive

A city man was shot and killed Saturday evening in an apartment building hallway.

According to law enforcement, around 9:52 p.m. Saturday, police received calls about gunfire in the 1900 block of Riverside Drive. When officers arrived on-scene, they found a man suffering from a gunshot wound in a second floor hallway. He was found in front of what is believed to be his apartment, according to the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office. Initial reports indicated that the man had been shot multiple times, but the prosecutor’s office said that he died of a single gunshot wound. Read more

Attorneys in Tracy Crews murder trial expected to implicate the victim’s wife as clients’ defense

Defense attorneys in the Tracy Crews murder trial are expected to raise a third-party guilt defense, implicating the wife of a Trenton gangster in his September 2008 murder.

The defense is based on expected witness testimony of Pennsylvania inmate Maria Cappelli.

Cappelli, an inmate at Muncy state prison, told a corrections officer Sheena Robinson-Crews, the victim’s widow, admitted setting up her husband’s murder. Read more

Prosecutors want to bring murder victim’s dying statement into evidence at trial

Assistant Prosecutor Al Garcia wants a judge to reconsider whether a jury can hear evidence of a dying declaration Trenton gang member Tracy Crews reportedly made moments after he was shot in the neck with a 9 mm luger in September 2008.

While Sheena Robinson-Crews cradled her dying husband in her arms on a city street, she reportedly asked her husband about the identity of the assailant. Read more

Jailhouse informant becomes star witness in trial for the murder of Tracy Crews

While incarcerated in a county jail awaiting trial for murder, Nigel Joseph Dawson admitted firing the fatal shot that killed Tracy Crews during a botched home invasion on Sept. 12, 2008, a confidential jailhouse informant testified Thursday.

Isaiah Franklin, the state’s star witness and one of four jailhouse informants on the witness list, took the stand and told the jury Dawson confessed he was at Crews home to rob the convicted drug dealer of $40,000.

When Crews recognized his voice, Dawson panicked and shot him in the neck, Franklin said. But before Dawson and William Brown allegedly fled the Whittaker Avenue residence, they heard Crews cry out. Read more

Murder victim’s widow cross examined, questioned on role in husband’s murder

There was a moment in court Wednesday when it almost seemed liked Sheena Robinson-Crews, the widow of a Trenton gang member, was on trial. Her testimony was marked by startling admissions and terse denials.

Yes, Robinson-Crews said, she refused to cooperate with the authorities, even misled them, for several hours after her husband, Tracy Crews, was shot in the neck Sept. 12, 2008 inside their Whittaker Avenue residence.

But, no, Robinson-Crews said, she didn’t orchestrate her husband’s murder, despite suspicions from some of Crews’ family members that she was somehow involved and an implication from the defense that she tampered with a police investigation by deleting messages off one of her husband’s phones. Read more

Trenton man indicted in connection with Brandon Nance murder

A city man has been indicted in connection with a 2013 shooting that left a man dead outside of a Chambersburg landmark.

Brandon Nance, 26, was gunned down outside of Italian People’s Bakery on Butler Street around 12:20 p.m. on Aug. 29, 2013.

Dante Alexander

Dante Alexander

Prosecutors say 20-year-old Dante Alexander and a yet-to-be-apprehended second suspect shot Nance several times before he collapsed in front of the bakery, and then pumped more bullets into him as he laid on the ground.

Prosecutors say police found sixteen 40-caliber shell casings along Butler Street, and the shooting was captured on surveillance video. Read more

Murder victim’s widow tells harrowing tale of night her husband was killed in Trenton

Sheena Robinson-Crews was eight months pregnant and pressed with a perilous decision on Sept. 12, 2008.

Her husband, Tracy Crews, had just been shot in the neck inside the couple’s Whittaker Avenue home shortly after he had tucked their 2-year-old daughter into bed.

Crews lay dying in his wife’s arms on a city street near a package liquor store while an ambulance screamed to the scene to take him to Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton. Read more

Ballistics expert testifies at trial for murder of Tracy Crews

In the end, James Storey’s lengthy testimony Monday in the Tracy Crews murder trial could have been boiled down to a single nugget for the jury.

Shell casings found inside Crews’ city residence in September 2008 were ballistically matched to a 9 mm luger that was found stashed on a nearby garage. Storey, a former state police lieutenant and the detective who conducted ballistics tests on the shell casings in 2009, talked extensively about striation patterns and used a lot of other fancy terminology before supplying his succinct expert opinion.

The two spent shell casings found inside Crews’ home were “in fact, discharged from within the firearm” that was found near the murder scene. At times, Storey’s testimony was tedious, laborious and hard to follow. It was also interrupted when fire alarms sounded inside the county courthouse, prompting a short evacuation. Read more

Jury returns to Trenton trial for murder of Tracy Crews after several delays

Moments before Tracy Crews was shot in the kitchen of his Whittaker Avenue home in September 2008, he put up his hands to try to shield himself, a medical examiner testified Thursday.

But Crews’ hands were no match for a 9 mm bullet. Crews was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead at 12:25 a.m. on Sept. 13, 2008, less than an hour after he was shot after tucking his then-2-year-old daughter into bed.

Tracy Crews, right, with family members. Submitted photo

Tracy Crews, right, with family members. Submitted photo

The fatal shot pierced Crews’ right wrist, grazing the chest area near his clavicle, before it re-entered the left side of his neck and exited from near his ear, said Dr. Daksha Shah, the Mercer County medical examiner who performed Crews’ autopsy.

She was one of three witnesses who took the stand Thursday, the jury’s first day back after myriad delays in trial testimony caused by evidence issues.

Shah testified the bullet “exploded” Crews’ carotid artery, a major vessel that supplies blood to the brain. A V-neck T-shirt Crews had on at the time he was mortally wounded was soaked in blood.

Read more

Defense asks for dismissal as prosecutor tries to accommodate request to interview informant in murder trial

The prosecutor, Al Garcia, said it best when he surmised Wednesday that attorneys involved in the Tracy Crews murder trial are in “uncharted territory.”

Garcia is in the peculiar position of working with the defense to possibly help clear its clients, William Brown and Nigel Joseph Dawson.

The thought of a prosecutor taking such measures is jaw-dropping. But that’s the position Garcia is in because of discovery issues that threaten to derail the murder trial. Read more