Trooper: No fingerprints of alleged drive-by shooter William Mitchell were found inside vehicle

A high-ranking New Jersey State Police trooper testified Wednesday that no fingerprints of accused killer William Mitchell were found inside the vehicle that was allegedly used in the 2012 drive-by shooting that killed 23-year-old Daquan Dowling.

When questioned under cross-examination on whether any of Mitchell’s fingerprints were found inside the stolen black Chrysler Sebring, Lt. Michael McCormick said, “No, sir.”

Mitchell, 29, is one of the five people to be indicted in connection with the slaying of Dowling. Another defendant in the case, Andre Romero, 25, was found not guilty last October of all charges. Read more

Newark boy faces adult charges in 2016 Chambersburg murder case

The Newark boy accused of stabbing 27-year-old Carlos Leiva-Oviedo to death last year is now incarcerated on pretrial detention and facing murder charges as an adult.

Danny Saad, who recently turned 16, has been charged with murder, armed robbery, murder during commission of a crime, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and unlawful possession of a weapon in connection with the Chambersburg stabbing death of Leiva-Oviedo.

Carlos Leiva-Oviedo

Carlos Leiva-Oviedo

During the early morning hours of June 14, 2016, Trenton Police responded to the intersection of Hudson and Genesee streets and found Leiva-Oviedo sprawled out on the street near his car, which was parked on Hudson. He suffered multiple stab wounds and was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he died four hours later. Read more

Alleged barricaded gunman fails to appear on murder charges

Tyleeb Reese

Tyleeb Reese

Tyleeb Reese, the alleged gunman who barricaded himself inside a Centre Street home for 35 hours last week during a deadly standoff with police, originally became wanted for arrest due to his prior failure to appear in court.

Reese, 35, of Trenton, again failed to appear in court Tuesday for his arraignment on murder and attempted murder charges.

A sex offender already in hot water for failing to register, Reese on Tuesday afternoon opted to stay behind bars rather than appear in court to face heavy charges in connection with last week’s fatal gunfight that left one civilian dead and three sheriff’s officers wounded.

As an inmate at the Mercer County Correction Center, Reese could have easily attended his first appearance hearing but nevertheless declined to come in the jail’s video conference room.

With the video conferencing system activated and Reese nowhere to be seen, “He is not here, your honor,” public defender Thomas Belsky told the judge about his client. “Mr. Reese declined to come in the video conference room.”

Reese, who has been charged with the murder of 56-year-old Robert Powell Jr. and the attempted murder of five law enforcement officials, surrendered to police last Thursday to bring a peaceful resolution to what had been a violent confrontation.

Since Jan. 1, new defendants normally get arraigned within 48 hours of arrest. But Reese’s Central Judicial Processing or CJP hearing was scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Tuesday — five days after his arrest — due to him requiring medical evaluation after he complained of chest pains.

The public defender provided no explanation for why Reese declined to appear at his CJP hearing. If he attended, the judge likely would have asked Reese if he understood the charges against him and if he spoke with his attorney about his legal rights.

With Reese being a no-show, Belsky urged the judge to proceed with scheduling a detention hearing. The state has filed a motion seeking to place Reese on pretrial detention. If that motion is granted, Reese would continue to be held at the county jail without bail for up to two years while his case plays out in court.

A U.S. Marshals regional task force came after Reese about 6:20 a.m. last Wednesday to serve an arrest warrant due to Reese’s prior failure to appear in court for running afoul of Megan’s Law. Officers made entry into Reese’s home, and then a gunfight and 35-hour standoff ensued, authorities say. Reese’s mother helped persuade him to stand down and surrender.

Reese’s detention hearing has been scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the Mercer County Criminal Courthouse.

Isiah Greene’s third murder trial begins this summer

Alleged killer Isiah Greene is scheduled to be retried this summer on murder charges.

Greene, 23, of Trenton, is accused of shooting and killing 24-year-old city man Quaadir “Ace” Gurley in the early morning hours of July 21, 2013. The slaying occurred at Trenton’s Donnelly Homes housing complex.

Isiah Greene

Isiah Greene

The upcoming murder trial is slated to begin with jury selection on July 17. It will be the third time prosecutors seek to win a conviction against Greene, who has pleaded not guilty to all charges in the case. The first trial in October 2015 and the second trial in January 2017 each ended with a hung jury. Read more

Fatal Trenton standoff ends with surrender

Tyleeb Reese surrenders to police after a 35-hour standoff in Trenton. (submitted photo)

Tyleeb Reese surrenders to police after a 35-hour standoff in Trenton. (submitted photo)

The standoff that lasted close to 35 hours in Trenton has ended peacefully.

Trenton standoff suspect Tyleeb Reese surrendered to police just after 5 p.m. on Thursday.

Reese, the suspected triggerman, engaged U.S. Marshals in a gunfight that left a civilian dead and three officers wounded. Reese then retreated to his family’s home on the 300 block of Centre Street and barricaded himself inside as police attempted to negotiate a peaceful resolution the past two days.

“Go Tyleeb!” people shouted when a shirtless Reese exited his home about 5 p.m. Thursday with his hands on his head.

Earlier in the day, with 35-year-old Tyleeb Reese still holed up inside the house and a large police presence surrounding the neighborhood, one resident urged police to hurry up and end the standoff, saying, “They are taking too long.”

The standoff began about 6:45 a.m. Wednesday when members of a U.S. Marshals Regional Fugitive Task Force served a sexual assault warrant at Reese’s home on the 300 block of Centre Street. Police say officers entered the home and were engaged in gunfire by the suspect. Read more

Standoff in Trenton leaves bystander dead, 3 officers injured

A city man with a history of sexual assault snapped when he saw police at his doorstep, leading to a standoff that left an innocent bystander dead. Read more

Jury convicts alleged killer Masiyah Howard on weapons offense, gets hung on murder count

After deliberating for several days, a 12-member jury on Tuesday unanimously found Trenton gunman Masiyah “Chicken” Howard guilty of unlawful possession of a handgun but could not reach a verdict on whether he was guilty of murder or manslaughter.

Defendant Masiyah Howard listens to closing arguments in Mercer County Superior Court on Wenesday, May 3, 2017. (Gregg Slaboda Photo)

Defendant Masiyah Howard listens to closing arguments in Mercer County Superior Court on Wenesday, May 3, 2017.
(Gregg Slaboda Photo)

The jurors unanimously agreed that the state proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Howard possessed a firearm without a permit to carry, but they could not all agree on whether Howard used that gun for the purpose of committing murder.

Prosecutors have accused Howard, 21, of shooting and killing 25-year-old Louis Bryan Alvarez over a $20 dispute involving an Xbox video game system. The victim suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the chest inside his Chambersburg home on the night of Feb. 26, 2013. The lethal shot was fired from outside the Fulton Street residence and shattered through a front glass window before striking Alvarez. Read more

3 Bloods gangsters testify against Masiyah Howard at Chambersburg murder trial

Defendant Masiyah Howard listens to closing arguments in Mercer County Superior Court on Wenesday, May 3, 2017. (Gregg Slaboda Photo)

Defendant Masiyah Howard listens to closing arguments in Mercer County Superior Court on Wednesday, May 3, 2017.
(Gregg Slaboda Photo)

Going to trial without any eyewitness reports or direct evidence, the state’s murder case against Masiyah “Chicken” Howard relies primarily upon the sworn testimony of three so-called 793 Bloods street gang members.

Howard, 21, of Trenton, is accused of shooting and killing 25-year-old Louis Bryan Alvarez over a $20 dispute involving an Xbox video game system.

Mercer County Assistant Prosecutor Heather Hadley on Wednesday conceded the state does not have any surveillance video, eyewitness accounts or direct evidence linking Howard to the February 2013 murder of Alvarez in Trenton’s Chambersburg neighborhood, but she said the state can prove Howard committed the brazen murder by assessing his alleged words of self-incrimination.Read more

Alleged gunman in fatal Chambersburg robbery gets post-indictment hearing

The alleged gunman who shot and killed Emilio Lopez during a 2012 robbery in Trenton’s Chambersburg neighborhood is gearing up for a post-indictment arraignment.

Emmanuel Cruz, 29, of Hamilton, is scheduled to appear in court 9 a.m. next Monday before Mercer County Superior Court Judge Darlene Pereksta. A grand jury indicted him last month on six counts, including murder, robbery and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose on allegations he fatally gunned down Lopez on the night of Nov. 16, 2012, near the intersection of Kent and Division streets. Read more

William Mitchell’s murder retrial approaches in drive-by slaying of Daquan Dowling

William "Bill Bill" Mitchell

William “Bill Bill” Mitchell

One of the city men accused of murdering 23-year-old Daquan Dowling in a brazen 2012 drive-by shooting along Route 29 is about to be retried in a court of law.

William Mitchell’s second murder trial is scheduled to begin Thursday before Mercer County Superior Court Judge Anthony Massi. His initial trial ended last October in a hung jury.

Dowling was driving on Route 29 near the War Memorial in Trenton when perpetrators drove alongside him and fired a shot that struck him in the head, killing him instantly on Jan. 30, 2012.

Mitchell, 29, is one of the five people to be indicted in connection with the slaying of Dowling. Another defendant in the case, Andre Romero, 25, was found not guilty last October of all charges.

Co-defendant Anthony Marks, 28, pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a handgun in 2015; co-defendant Jamar Square, 24, pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a handgun in 2013; and co-defendant Louis Alvardo, 26, pleaded guilty to receiving stolen property in 2014.

In the initial trial, Marks and Square testified as cooperating witnesses against Mitchell and Romero. Marks and Square have not yet been sentenced for their guilt in the case, while Alvardo received a four-year prison sentence for admitting he had received the stolen Chrysler Sebring that was later connected to the drive-by shooting.

As Mitchell awaits retrial, he remains incarcerated at the Mercer County Correction Center on $1 million cash bail. Defense attorney Mark Fury is representing Mitchell; Mercer County Assistant Prosecutor James Scott is trying the case on behalf of the state.