Troubled gang member fingers disabled Trenton man for murder

A disabled Trenton man who took special education classes throughout high school and whose IQ is far below average is viewed by prosecutors as a “lying murderer,” his defense attorney said.

And now a real gangster who may be a “professional cooperator,” having ratted on other Trenton men for murder and attempted murder, has pointed the finger at Robert Smith for the drive-by killing of Sidique Richardson-Howlen.

The state-approved snitch and apparent member of the 793 Bloods, Hector Maldonado, has his own problems. He was one of several members indicted in a massive racketeering case leveled against the violent street gang.Read more

Trenton killer accepts two-for-one plea

Prosecutors must be throwing a fall blowout sale after a Trenton man essentially paid for one crime and got another free in murder and attempted murder cases.

Dashawn Bethea admitted Thursday to aggravated manslaughter and aggravated assault in two violent cases in Trenton and will spend less than two decades behind bars under terms of his deal with prosecutors.

He fired a .40 caliber handgun into a crowd on the 400 block of Stuyvesant Avenue on June 9, 2013 while walking with his father, Charles Boston, back from a nearby store.Read more

DAG heard shuffling behind city museum after Route 29 murder

Former Deputy Attorney General Ellen Balint testified Wednesday in the murder trial of two city men that while she was walking from the Hughes Justice Complex toward her car after getting out of work on the evening of Jan. 30, 2012 she was startled by the cackle of gunfire and screeching tires.

Murder victim Daquan Dowling

Murder victim Daquan Dowling

She didn’t know it at the time, but 23-year-old Daquan Dowling had just been shot in the head as he and a friend motored northbound in the slow lane of Route 29, in a callous drive-by execution that shut down the busy highway for hours, prosecutors said.

Dowling slumped over the car console, his bloodied head landing in the lap of his shell-shocked passenger.

Prosecutors showed photos of the blood-soaked interior of Dowling’s Ford Taurus. And a supervising sergeant from the Trenton Police department held up for jurors to inspect the apparent blood-spattered shirt and sweater of Dowling’s friend, who was riding shotgun when the horror unfolded.Read more

Witness goes AWOL in ‘trunk’ murder case, mistrial declared

A key witness who was allegedly held hostage by a group of men charged with killing a Liberian immigrant in 2011 has “gone off the grid” after he received phone calls and threatening letters from two suspects in Trenton’s infamous “trunk case,” prosecutors said.

Now Mercer County prosecutors must decide in the next four months whether to charge suspected triggerman Danuweli Keller and co-defendant Mack Edwards with witness tampering in one of Mercer County’s oldest murder cases.

Prosecutors were scheduled to deliver opening statements this week in the suspected killers’ murder trial but it has been pushed back to February because of the witness tampering allegations.

The two accused killers are being tried along with Phobus Sullivan for the execution-style slaying of Dardar Paye, a Liberian immigrant and U.S. veteran who was kidnapped, robbed and shot inside the basement of a Monmouth Street home on Jan. 16, 2011 in Trenton.Read more

Trenton man admits to manslaughter for 12 years

Talk about a downward departure.

The plea deal went from 25 years with cooperation for a man charged with murder to a dozen years – without any explanation from prosecutors.

Grady A. Blue III

Grady A. Blue III

Grady Blue III, 23, jumped at the plea deal Friday in Mercer County criminal court.

In doing so, he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of aggravated manslaughter for fatally shooting Naquan Ellis, 23, as he was stood with a group of people outside of the North 25 housing complex in June 2014.

A woman was also hit by gunfire but did not sustain serious injuries.

Blue, who also pleaded to an unrelated gun charge, admitted shooting “recklessly” into the crowd, but didn’t say why or who he was targeting.

Read more

Accused killers caused ‘mayhem’ on Route 29

A defense attorney for one of two suspects charged in the sensational Route 29 Statehouse slay in 2012 put on a “dog food” and pony show in court Tuesday.

Defense attorney Patrick O’Hara attacked prosecutors’ case against murder suspect Andre Romero in his opening statement, telling jurors that no matter how the state dresses it up, they’ll be left with “dog food.”

Murder victim Daquan Dowling

Murder victim Daquan Dowling

“The state has two wonderful cooks,” O’Hara said. “The meal is only as good as the ingredients, and the main ingredient is dog food. You’re gonna wonder how they were ever chefs.”

O’Hara didn’t delve into specifics about why he says his client is innocent of committing the Jan. 30, 2012 murder, which closed down Route 29 for several hours.

The adrenaline-crazed attorney stopped short of bringing a unicorn into the courtroom, to complete the dog food and pony show.Read more

Prosecutors: City man helped set up teen’s murder

A city man is accused of luring another man to his death in a Trenton alley in a heinous city murder potential involving two others, prosecutors said.

Quashawn Emanuel

Quashawn Emanuel

Quashawn Emanuel, 18, admitted to authorities he knew he was helping set up 19-year-old Lance Beckett to be fatally shot on Sept. 18, Assistant Prosecutor Tim Ward said at a bail hearing Tuesday.

Beckett was also apparently stomped out after being shot in an alley on East Stuyvesant Avenue in Trenton’s West Ward.

A 17-year-old boy, also from Trenton, has also been charged in connection with Beckett’s murder.

His role in the brutal slaying remains unclear as his charges are being heard, at the moment, in juvenile court.

Read more

Two teens arrested in Lance Beckett murder

Two teens were arrested in connection with the murder of Lance Beckett in the city’s West Ward last Sunday.

Quashawn Emanuel

Quashawn Emanuel

Acting Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri told The Trentonian that the Homicide Task Force arrested 18-year-old Quashawn Emanuel and a 17-year-old, both of whom are Trenton residents, for the murder on East Stuyvesant Avenue.

The pair was charged with murder, possession of a weapon, and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

Emanuel is currently being held on one-million dollars cash bail. The juvenile is being housed in the Middlesex County Youth Correctional facility.

The victim, Lance Beckett, 19, of Trenton was gunned down on East Stuyvesant Avenue, and according to witnesses at the scene he was stomped after being shot.

So far this year, 21 people have been killed in the capital city, which includes the police-involved shooting death of Alfred Toe and the hit-and-run death of Edwardo Martinez. While the New Jersey State Police Uniform Crime Reporting Unit considers “death by auto” a manslaughter it does not as a homicide statistic.

The Trentonian includes death by auto and justifiable police shootings in its yearly homicide count.

Anyone with information about the incident 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 labeled TCSTIPS to Trenton Crime Stoppers at 274637.

Suspected accomplice nears deal in murder of Trenton graffiti artist

A suspected accomplice in the 2013 murder of a Trenton graffiti artist is close to reaching a deal with prosecutors.

Zihqwan Clemens

Zihqwan Clemens

Zihqwan “Woodiey” Clemens, who was charged as an accomplice to the murder of Andre Corbett after he allegedly acted as another man’s wheelman, could reach an agreement with prosecutors as early as this month, officials said Tuesday at a status hearing.

The plea deal is expected to package together the murder case and a probation violation from a drug conviction for which Clemens had received five years at the beginning of the year.Read more

Man shot dead on East Stuyvesant Avenue

A man was shot and killed on East Stuyvesant Avenue. September 18, 2016 (Penny Ray - Trentonian)

A man was shot and killed on East Stuyvesant Avenue. September 18, 2016 (Penny Ray - Trentonian)

A city man was gunned down Sunday afternoon, and according to citizens, there were more than one shooter, one of whom stomped on the victim’s head after he dropped to the ground. Read more