Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray, Irvington Police Director Joseph Santiago, Newark Police Director Samuel A. DeMaio, East Orange Police Chief William C. Robinson, along with State and Federal officials, announced today that four arrests have been made and warrants have been issued for 1 suspect wanted in the holiday spree of homicides in Essex County.
“I would like to extend my condolences to each and every family in the Essex County community struck by tragedy during this holiday season,” said Acting Essex County Prosecutor.
“We have made tremendous progress in each of these cases because of help from the public and once again we are asking for the public’s assistance in apprehending one suspect who remains at large,” said Acting Prosecutor Murray. “He is considered armed and dangerous.”
These investigations remain active and ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force tips line at 1-877-847-7432.
The spree began with the carjacking homicide of Dustin Friedland, a 30-year-old Hoboken lawyer, on Dec.15, 2013 at the Short Hills Mall.
On Dec. 21, at approximately 1:00 a.m. Reginald Terry, an 18-year-old college student, was shot and killed in the vicinity of 260 Washington Street in Newark at a party. A second person was shot, but sustained non-life threatening injuries.
Today, Damiar Pendergrass, 18, of Newark was arrested at a residence in Irvington for the murder of Mr. Terry. Last this afternoon, following a press conference in Newark, a second suspect, Raquan Langford, 19, of Newark was arrested in Newark. Both men have been charged with the murder of Mr. Terry. They are also charged with conspiracy, possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
The Honorable Judge Robert H. Gardner has set bail for both men at $750,000.
On Dec. 25, at 12:40 a.m. Pierre Clervoyant, 34, of Elizabeth, Woodley Daniel, 32, of Hillside and Mushir Cureton, 27, of Newark were shot and killed at Slick’s Go-Go Bar, located at 371 Nye Avenue in Irvington. Two other persons were shot and injured in this incident.
A warrant has been issued by the Honorable Judge Michael Casale charging Anthony Fields, 19, of Newark with three (3) counts of murder, possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
Fields remains a fugitive at this time. He is the only suspect still at large.
On Dec. 25, Zainee Hailey, 13, of Newark and Kasson Mormon, 15, of Newark were shot and killed in the100 block of Schley Street in Newark. In addition, a 14-year-old male was shot and injured. He remains hospitalized in serious condition.
A 15-year-old juvenile has been arrested and charged with the murders of Hailey and Mormon.
The juvenile is also charged with attempted murder of a third victim and with weapons charges. The 15-year-old has been remanded to the Essex County Youth Facility. His name is not being released at this time because he is a juvenile.
On Dec. 27 at 6:00 a.m. East Orange Police were dispatched to an apartment building at 39 South Munn Avenue where they found an unresponsive woman who was nine months pregnant. She has been identified as Fatoumata Owoseni, 26, of Maryland.
Her husband, Babatope Owoseni, 33, of East Orange was charged and arrested for murder. He is being held at the Essex County Corrections Facility. Bail was set at $750,000 by Judge Gardner.
ECPO Chief of Investigators Anthony Ambrose said the FBI Violent Crimes Fugitive Task Force and detectives from the ECPO are actively pursuing the suspects that remain at large.
Acting Prosecutor Murray commended the investigative and legal staff members that have worked tirelessly on these cases.
“I would also like to thank the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Task Force investigative and legal staff, along with our state and federal partners, who continue to work around the clock to solve these cases. They have given up precious time with their loved ones to bring to justice to these individuals that we have charged.”
These charges are accusations. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they enter a guilty plea or are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.