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 tried the case.
Following a four-day trial before the Honorable Michael L. Ravin, Judge of the Superior Court, the jury deliberated for approximately five hours yesterday before finding Mells guilty of murder, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. Today, the jury returned and also found Mells guilty of being a convicted felon in possession of a weapon – a separate offense that is only presented to the jury after a defendant is found guilty of a committing a crime with a gun.
Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 28 before Judge Ravin. Mells faces 30 years to life for the murder and another 10 years for the convicted felon in possession of a weapon charge.
“This was a brazen shooting in broad daylight in heavily populated area. We were successful in the prosecution of this case because of the assistance of people in the community who willingly came forward and testified. Without their bravery and cooperation it would have been a very difficult case to prosecute,’’ said Assistant Prosecutor Downing.
Mells has 15 adult arrests and two prior felony convictions. In 2003 he was convicted of aggravated assault and in 2005 he was convicted of unlawful possession of a weapon.