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PRESS RELEASE ARCHIVE FOR YEAR 2014
TITLE:

DATE:  12/22/2014
DEFENDANT(s):
Travis Hartsfield

Dec. 22, 2014

Father Sentenced to Life in Prison for Killing Daughter

 NewarkActing Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that Travis Hartsfield, Jr., 28, of Newark was sentenced to life in prison for the March 2011 murder of his 20-month-old daughter, Asiyah Hartsfield.

The Honorable Michael L. Ravin, Judge of the Superior Court, imposed sentence. In October of this year a jury convicted . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  12/15/2014
DEFENDANT(s):
Daniel Bedford

Dec. 15, 2014

Essex County Jury Convicts Man of Aggravated Manslaughter

Newark– Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that an Essex County jury has convicted Daniel Bedford, 23, of East Orange of aggravated manslaughter for killing Kareem Montague, 33, of Newark.

Following a trial before the Honorable Siobhan A. Teare, Judge of the Superior Court, the jury also found Bedford guilty of carjacking and . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  11/19/2014
DEFENDANT(s):
Dwayne Johnson

Nov. 19, 2014

Newark Man Found Guilty of Murder

 NewarkActing Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that an Essex County jury has convicted Dwayne Johnson, 43, of Newark of first degree murder for killing Terrence Everett, 38, also of Newark.

Following a three-week trial before the Honorable Michael L. Ravin, the jury deliberated for four hours before finding Johnson guilty of murdering . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  11/7/2014
DEFENDANT(s):
Hakim Y. Jones

Nov. 6, 2014

Newark Man Pleads Guilty to Kidnapping and Aggravated Sexual Assault

 NewarkActing Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that Hakim Y. Jones, 24, of Newark pled guilty before the Honorable Verna Leath, Judge of the Superior Court.

Jones pled guilty to kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault of three different women. Specifically, he pled to three counts of 1st degree kidnapping and . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  11/5/2014
DEFENDANT(s):
Robert R. O'Neil

Nov. 5, 2014

East Orange Police Officer Shot

 NewarkActing Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray and East Orange Police Chief William C. Robinson announced today that Robert O’Neil, 28, of East Orange has been arrested and charged with attempted murder for shooting an East Orange police officer.

At approximately 11:22 a.m. today Sergeant Michael Williams, a 12-year veteran of the East Orange Police Department was patrolling in . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  10/31/2014
DEFENDANT(s):
Travis Hartsfield

Oct. 29, 2014

Father Convicted of Murder for Killing His 20-month-old Daughter

 Newark –Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that an Essex County jury convicted Travis Hartsfield, Jr.,  28, of Newark of murdering his 20-month-old daughter following a 5-week trial before the Honorable Michael L. Ravin, Judge of the Superior Court.

Hartsfield, who was unemployed, was caring for the toddler while the mother worked . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  10/31/2014
DEFENDANT(s):

Oct. 29, 2014

Four Arrested and Charged with Collecting Unemployment While Working

Three Worked for the City of Newark

 Newark – Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that four individuals, including three employed by the city of Newark, were arrested today and charged with theft by deception for collecting unemployment benefits while employed.

Balaal Lewis, 38, of Newark; Tawanda Faulcon, 44, of Newark; Tyrone Farrington, . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  10/31/2014
DEFENDANT(s):
James Sterling aka James Megget

Oct. 29, 2014

Man Sentenced to 13 years for Causing Death of Two

NewarkActing Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that James Sterling, 30, also known as James Megget, of Elizabeth was sentenced to 13 years in New Jersey State Prison by the Honorable Ronald D. Wigler, presiding Essex County Criminal Court Judge, for causing the death of two people in a . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  10/31/2014
DEFENDANT(s):
Rene Delgado

Oct. 27, 2014

Queens Man Sentenced to 15 Years for Raping Young Boy

 NewarkActing Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that the Honorable Verna G. Leath sentenced Rene Delgado, 33, of Jamaica Queens, New York, to 15 years in New Jersey State Prison for violently sexually assaulting a three-year-old boy left in his care.

Delgado, who goes by the nickname Taz, must . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  10/31/2014
DEFENDANT(s):
Andrew Jones, Rajheher Massenburg, Wendy Rhea

Oct. 24, 2014

East Orange Police Officer and Two Others Indicted

 

NewarkActing Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that an Essex County Grand Jury has returned a 21-count indictment charging East Orange Police Officer Rajheher Massenburg, 35, of East Orange, with official misconduct and conspiracy to distribute narcotics following a joint investigation by the East Orange Police Department and the Essex County . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  8/6/2014
DEFENDANT(s):
Samuel Nyanteng

 Newark – Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray, along with officials from Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, announced today that Samuel Nyanteng, a naturalized American who was born in Ghana, was arrested at his Hillside home this morning and charged with perjury, false swearing and conspiracy.

It is alleged that Nyanteng, 33, an immigration officer, who has been employed for the . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  8/4/2014
DEFENDANT(s):
Ali Muhammad Brown, Andre Fields, Eric Williams, Jeremy Villagran

NewarkActing Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray along with Newark Police Director Eugene Venable and West Orange Chief of Police James P. Abbott announced today arrests in two unrelated murders.

Three suspects have been arrested in connection with the June 25 murder of 19-year-old Brendan Tevlin of Livingston.

A registered sex offender and a suspect in two Seattle homicides, Ali Muhammad Brown, 29, of . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  7/31/2014
DEFENDANT(s):
Virgil Suggs

NewarkActing Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that Virgil Suggs, 43, of Newark was sentenced to life in prison for the October 2012 murder of Bronique McLeod, a 24-year-old mother of two.

On Oct. 1, 2012, for no apparent reason, Suggs open fire on a van carrying four people while they were stopped at a traffic light in the vicinity of . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  7/21/2014
DEFENDANT(s):
(Juvenile), Kaseem Callender

NewarkActing Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray and Newark Police Director Eugene Venable announced today that Kaseem Callender, 18, of Newark and a 17-year-old juvenile have been arrested for the murder of Raheem Hughee, 33, of East Orange.

On June 28, Hughee was shot and killed in the area of 41-45 Mountain View Avenue in Newark.

On July 17, a juvenile, who is not . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  7/18/2014
DEFENDANT(s):
James Sterling aka James Megget

NewarkActing Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that James Sterling, 30, also known as James Megget, of Elizabeth entered a guilty plea yesterday to two counts of aggravated manslaughter.

On Nov. 19, 2012, while driving a Chrysler Pacifica SUV, Sterling hit an ambulance, setting off a multi-vehicle crash on South Orange Avenue and South 9th Street in Newark. A food truck . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  7/11/2014
DEFENDANT(s):

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray and East Orange Police Chief William Robinson announced today that the three people killed Wednesday in a motor vehicle collision on South Grove Street near the intersection of Central Avenue in East Orange, at approximately 8:50 p.m., have been identified.

They are: Tyrief A. Parker, 24, of East Orange; Kabeer K. Bishop, 20, of Newark and Dean Scovil, . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  7/10/2014
DEFENDANT(s):

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray and Newark Police Director Eugene Venable announced today that the woman found dead in Newark yesterday has been identified as Milta Aponte Castellano, 48, of Farmingdale.

Shortly after 11:00 am yesterday, Newark police officers were dispatched to the 100 block of Empire Street on a report of an injured person. Arriving officers observed an unresponsive female, outside a . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  7/2/2014
DEFENDANT(s):

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray and Irvington Police Director Tracy Bowers announced today that the Irvington Police Department and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force are investigating a fatal shooting.

The victim has been identified as Kwasi Muhammad, 35, of Newark. Muhammad was fatally shot in the 700 block of Chancellor Avenue in Irvington last night. He was pronounced dead . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  7/2/2014
DEFENDANT(s):
Fidel Ortez

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that Fidel Ortez, 48, of West New York, pled guilty to knowingly leaving the scene of a motor vehicle collision that resulted in the death of Jeffrey Zeisler, 61, of Howell.

On Nov. 12, 2012, Zeisler was found dead at Newark Liberty International Airport after being struck by a bus driven by Ortez, a driver for . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  6/12/2014
DEFENDANT(s):
(Juvenile)

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray and Newark Police Director Sheilah Coley have announced that authorities have made an arrest in connection with June 10, 2014 shooting death of Coulibabry Zoumana Wilson. Wilson, who was a student at Weequahic High School, was shot during a disturbance in the 100 block of Leslie Street on Tuesday afternoon.

An investigation conducted by the Essex County Major . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  6/6/2014
DEFENDANT(s):

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray and Newark Police Director Sheilah Coley have announced that authorities are investigating two shooting homicides in Newark on Friday, June 6, 2014.

The first incident occurred in the 100 block of Muhammad Ali Avenue at approximately 2:40 p.m. Newark police officers were dispatched to a shooting call at the above location. Arriving officers discovered a male suffering . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  6/3/2014
DEFENDANT(s):

Today, the FBI announced a national campaign to deter people from pointing lasers at aircraft, a federal violation that presents danger to pilots, passengers and those on the ground. The FBI is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information that leads to the arrest of any individual who aims a laser at an aircraft. The reward is available for 90 days in . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  5/30/2014
DEFENDANT(s):
Nicholas Welch

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that the Honorable Robert H. Gardner, Judge of the Superior Court, sentenced Nicholas Welch, 29, of East Orange to life in New Jersey State Prison for the September 2010 murder of Jessica A. Moore, a 19-year-old Seton Hall sophomore from Disputante, Virginia.

In addition to the life sentence imposed for murdering Moore, an honor student who . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  5/27/2014
DEFENDANT(s):
Yusuf Abdullah

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced that the Honorable Siobhan Teare, Judge of the Superior Court, has sentenced Yusuf Abdullah, 41, of Newark to 7 years in state prison for second degree aggravated arson.

On April 28, 2014, Abdullah, also known as Yusuf Camp, plead guilty to the charges, admitting that he purposely set his clothes on fire in his ex-girlfriend’s apartment . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  5/6/2014
DEFENDANT(s):
Andrew Burrows

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced that Andrew Burrows, 25, of Newark was sentenced today to 17 years in New Jersey State Prison for the Aug. 20, 2012 killing of Russell Lighten, Jr., 24, of also of Newark.

On March 25, Burrow pled guilty to aggravated manslaughter. Under the terms of a plea agreement, he was sentenced to 17 years by the Honorable . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  5/1/2014
DEFENDANT(s):
Charles P. Torres

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that Charles P. Torres, 55, of North Bergen pled guilty in Superior Court today before the Honorable Sherry Hutchins-Henderson, Judge of the Superior Court, to multiple counts, including human trafficking and sexual assault.

Specifically, Torres pled guilty to two counts of first degree human trafficking, promoting prostitution, sexual assault, possession of child pornography and endangering the . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  4/30/2014
DEFENDANT(s):
James J. Ryan

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that the Irvington Superintendent of Streets and Sewers, James J. Ryan, 47, of Washington pled guilty to theft of services before the Honorable Judge Robert Gardner, Judge of the Superior Court.

Ryan pled guilty on Monday to 3rd Degree Theft of Services for using Township heavy equipment on a private construction project.

On Nov. 11, 2010 Ryan . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  4/25/2014
DEFENDANT(s):
Evan George

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced that Evan George, 63, of Essex Fells was sentenced today by the Honorable Judge Joseph V. Isabella to four years in state prison for sharing child pornography.

In addition to the four years in New Jersey State Prison, George will have to register under Megan’s Law as a sex offender.

On March 11, 2014, George entered a guilty . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  4/17/2014
DEFENDANT(s):
Tresor Gopaul

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that the former Glen Ridge Borough Registrar of Vital Statistics admitted to stealing $82,981 from the Borough over a three year period.

Tresor Gopaul, 30, of Montclair pled guilty today before the Honorable Peter V. Ryan, Judge of the Superior Court, to second degree theft by unlawful taking. Gopaul is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  4/1/2014
DEFENDANT(s):
Michael Benkowski

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that an arrest warrant has been issued for Michael Benkowski, 43, of Newark.

Benkowski is wanted for setting the campaign bus of mayoral candidate Ras Baraka on fire on Feb. 16. A warrant has been issued for his arrest charging him with 3rd degree arson, 3rd degree criminal mischief and 3rd degree burglary.

During the early . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  3/17/2014
DEFENDANT(s):
William Siudmak

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray and Roseland Police Chief Richard McDonough announced today that William Siudmak, 55, of Roseland, was arrested Friday, March 14, and charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault, four counts of sexual assault and six counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

The crimes are alleged to have occurred against a child between January 2006 and . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  3/13/2014
DEFENDANT(s):

Acting Attorney General John Hoffman, Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray and more than 100 Essex County school and law enforcement officials gathered in Newark today to discuss school security.

The goal of the summit was to foster communication between first responders and school administrators.

“In the wake of the mass murder at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut and similar tragedies across the . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  3/11/2014
DEFENDANT(s):
Andre Mells

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today Andre Mells was sentenced to life in prison by the Honorable Michael L. Ravin, Judge of the Superior Court, for the 2011 murder of Idris Denmark.

On Jan. 9, 2014, an Essex County jury convicted Mells, 27, of Irvington of murder for the May 29, 2011 shooting death of Denmark.

Denmark, 27, of Newark was shot ten . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  3/10/2014
DEFENDANT(s):
Albert Maldonado, Rocca Gonnella

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that two former Essex County Parks Department employees pled guilty today to one count of theft before the Honorable Siobhan Teare, Judge of the Superior Court.

Rocca Gonnella, 47, of Toms River and Albert Maldonado, 42, of Elizabeth both entered guilty pleas. The men each admitted today to illegally using the access codes that allow them . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  2/14/2014
DEFENDANT(s):
Tresor Gopaul

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray and Glen Ridge Police Chief Sheila Byron-Lagattta announced today that following a joint investigation by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office and Glen Ridge Police the former Glen Ridge Borough Registrar, Tresor Gopaul, 30, of Montclair has been arrested and charged with stealing in excess of $50,000 from the borough.

Gopaul is accused of stealing money collected when people . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  2/7/2014
DEFENDANT(s):
Kelly Fowler

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that an Essex County jury has convicted Kelly Fowler, 45, of Irvington of aggravated arson for setting her former girlfriend’s West Orange home on fire.

Following a nine-day trial before the Honorable Sherry Hutchins-Henderson, Judge of the Superior Court, the jury found Fowler guilty on three counts. In addition to aggravated arson, she was also found . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  2/7/2014
DEFENDANT(s):
Charlene Cook

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that an Essex County jury convicted Charlene Cook, 24, of Emmaus, Pa., of aggravated assault for hitting her boyfriend with a car during an argument.

On Nov. 20, 2011, at approximately 4 a.m. Cook, her boyfriend and his sister has just left a nightclub in West Orange when they got into an argument in the . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  1/15/2014
DEFENDANT(s):
C.B. Torres, C.P. Torres, P. Munoz, V. Reyes

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that four defendants have been charged in a 35-count indictment, alleging they were part of a human trafficking conspiracy involving a 15-year-old Essex County girl.

“This is our first human trafficking indictment under the new comprehensive anti-trafficking law. It was brought in coordination with the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Task Force,’’ said Acting Prosecutor Murray. “We . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  1/9/2014
DEFENDANT(s):
Andre Mells

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that an Essex County jury has convicted Andre Mells, 29, of Irvington of the May 2011 murder of Idris Denmark, 27, of Newark.

Denmark was shot ten times with two guns at 4:30 in the afternoon on May 29, 2011 in New Hope Village on Norfolk Street in Newark, according to Assistant Prosecutor Portia Downing, who . . . READxMORE


TITLE:

DATE:  1/6/2014
DEFENDANT(s):
Altariq Coursey

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that Altariq Coursey, 40, of Edgewater Park in Burlington County was sentenced by the Honorable Michael L. Ravin, Judge of the Superior Court, to 22 years in New Jersey State Prison for distribution of cocaine. Coursey must serve 11 years before he is eligible for parole.

Following an eight-day trial, a jury convicted Coursey of . . . READxMORE


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