June 12, 2018
East Orange Man Convicted of Murder
Newark – Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino announced today that Akeeme Thompson, 26, of East Orange and Bloomfield, was found guilty of murdering Pierre Collins by an Essex County jury following a trial before the Honorable Verna Leath, Judge of the Superior Court.
Thompson was also convicted of unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, according to Assistant Prosecutor Timothy P. Shaughnessy, who tried the case.
On April 3, 2017 at 1:39 AM, Thompson shot and killed Collins, 34, of East Orange in the area of Ashland Avenue and Prospect Terrace in the City of East Orange. The shooting arose from a dispute between the two men. Thompson initially pointed a handgun at Collins. Collins called a friend and told her that Thompson had just held a gun to him. During the conversation Thompson shot Collins.
The woman who was on the phone was out of state but promptly called Collins’ family. Collins was transported to the hospital where he later died. No eyewitnesses from the scene testified, however, the shooting was captured on video.
Sentencing is scheduled for July 20 before Judge Leath. Thompson is facing 30 years to life in a New Jersey State Prison.
“Justice was certainly done in this case. With no cooperating eyewitness at the scene, it could’ve been a difficult case, but the investigating detectives from the Homicide Task Force built a solid circumstantial case that led to this conviction. We hope Pierre Collins’ family can find some measure of peace with this verdict,” said Assistant Prosecutor Shaughnessy.