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Shooting Death of an Elizabeth Man

The Union County Homicide Task Force is investigating the shooting death of an Elizabeth man that happened earlier today, said Prosecutor Theodore Romankow.

Just before noon two men were shot while inside a vehicle on Pine St. and 3rd Street, said Romankow.

The vehicle then traveled a short distance before crashing at South Park and 3rd.

The victim, Ramill Thomas DOB 12/171979 was transported to University Hospital where he died from his injuries shortly before 3 p.m

Another victim suffered injuries but is expected to survive, said Romankow. His identity is not available for release at this time.

The Homicide Task Force continues to collect and examine evidence. Anyone with information is urged to contact Union County Crimestoppers at 908 654 TIPS or uctip.org.

This remains an active investigation and additional details will be released as they become available.

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Update on Hillside Murder-Suicide

Autopsy results in the murder/suicide that occurred earlier this week in Hillside were released earlier today, said Prosecutor Theodore Romankow.

According to an investigation conducted by the Homicide Task Force and the Hillside police department, officers responded to a house on the 200 block of Hillside Ave at 10:13 am on June 11, 2011 on a report of two people found deceased inside the home.

Upon arriving they located Richard Lewis DOB: 3-21-66 and his wife Trecia Lewis DOB: 5-8-76.

Mrs. Lewis was located in a bedroom. Her cause of death was ruled asphyxiation and multiple sharp force wounds (stabbing). Mr. Lewis was located in a bathroom inside a tub. His cause of death was ruled electrocution following by drowning, said Romankow.

There were two children found inside the home and were not injured.

Investigators believe Mr. Lewis killed his wife before taking his own life. There are no charges pending and the investigation has been closed. No further information is expected to be released.

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West Orange Man Arrested in Jamba Juice Scam

A West Orange, N.J. man who spent the last several weeks purporting himself as a major shareholder in the Jamba Juice Company and attempted to solicit investors under false pretenses, was arrested last week, said Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow.

Michael T. Guidice DOB: 2/2/1965 of Kirk Street in West Orange was arrested in Kenilworth following an undercover operation by the Kenilworth Police Department and the Union County Prosecutor’s Office. He is currently charged with one count of 2nd Degree Attempted Theft by Deception, said Romankow.

Authorities were notified of Guidice’s attempts to solicit funds from patrons of restaurants frequented by the defendant in Union County. A would-be target of the defendant became suspicious after several meetings with Guidice who claimed to be a representative of Jamba Juice.

“During these meetings Guidice claimed to own 25 Jamba Juice locations including the one in Times Square, one at the Garden State Mall in Paramus and one in New Brunswick,” said Romankow.

In meetings with potential victims Guidice promised a return of five times their initial investment within 60 days. Authorities confirmed that Guidice has no business relationship with Jamba Juice or any of their franchises.

Last week Guidice met with an undercover police officer in Kenilworth and attempted to solicit money from that officer, promising the same financial return he had indicated to others.

After accepting a cashier’s check for $90,000, Guidice was immediately arrested. He was transported to the Union County Jail where he being held on $75,000 bail.

This remains an active investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office Special Prosecution’s Unit and the Kenilworth Police Department. Anyone who believes they might have additional information regarding Guidice is encouraged to contact Kenilworth Police Department Lt. Timothy Dowd at (908) 276-7037 or Prosecutor’s Office Det. Johnny Ho at (908) 527-4551

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Prosecutor

Hillside Murder Suicide

The Union County Homicide Task Force and Hillside Police Department are investigating a suspected murder/suicide that happened earlier this morning, said Prosecutor Theodore Romankow.Officers responded to a house on the 400 block of Hillside Ave at 10:13 am on a report of two people found deceased in the home.Upon arriving they located Richard Lewis DOB: 3-21-66 and his wife Trecia Lewis DOB: 5-8-76 dead.Trecia was located in a bedroom on top of bed. Richard was located in a bathroom inside a tub, said Romankow.There were two children found inside the home and were not injured.This remains an active investigation. Additional information will be released as it becomes available.

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Prosecutor

Bloods Member Arrested in Connection with Sept. 2010 Plainfield Homicide

A member of the Bloods street gang charged in the September 2010 shooting death of a Plainfield, NJ taxi driver surrendered to authorities over the weekend, announced Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow.

Jonathan Morgan, aka “J-Rummy” was indicted in April for the death of Isidro Leonardo, a taxi driver. According to the investigation, around 5:50 a.m. on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 the victim was discovered in the driver’s seat of his taxi on the 200 Block of Spooner Avenue, said Romankow. Leonardo, 44 of Plainfield was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Medical Center in New Brunswick in grave condition. He was pronounced dead about six hours later, said Romankow.

The Union County Homicide Task Force worked closely with the Plainfield Police Department on the investigation.

A second defendant, Wallace Parrish of Plainfield was previously charged and arrested on October 02, 2010 and remains in custody. Both defendants are Blood gang members of the Sex, money murder sect.

Morgan’s bail was set at $750,000 by Judge Stuart Peim, said Romankow.

These criminal charges are mere accusations. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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Plainfield Woman Charged in Baby’s Death

A Plainfield woman is charged with 2nd Degree unlawfully disturbing, moving or concealing human remains, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:22-1(a)(1), said Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow.

Sylvia Rosana Lopez was charged after she gave birth inside her West Front Street apatment.

The woman had called for EMS complaining of Labdominal pain” at 144a.m. And an ambulance did not arrive at the house until 40 minutes later, said Romankow.

Upon their arrival, the woman had given birth to a full-term child, and had attempted to secret the baby in a knotted plastic garbage bag.

The results from an autopsy performed this morning are pending and additional charges may be filed.

The mother was taken to a nearby hospital for medical treatment.

Lopez will make a court appearance in the coming days.

This remains an active investigation. Additional information will be released as it becomes available.

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Teen Pleads Guilty in Skate 22 Shooting

The teenager charged in the December 26, 2008 homicide outside of Skate 22 in Union Township plead guilty in Superior Court this morning, announced Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow.

Jaquan Bell DOB: 7/13/1992 pled guilty to manslaughter in the death of Jean D’Haiti, said Romankow.

Nearly 700 people had gathered at Skate 22 for a Christmas night party that was heavily promoted on websites like Myspace, said Romankow. The party which drew people between the ages of 13 and 25 was scheduled to go from 8:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. but ended early due to numerous fights that broke out inside the rink, said Romankow.

According to the investigation, around Midnight a fight between two groups of teenagers escalated, shots were fired and Jean D’Haiti, 16, of Elizabeth was struck and died at the scene at 12:29 a.m.

In an appearance before Union County Superior Court Judge Stuart Peim, Bell acknowledged that while a rival group was chasing him and others, he fired several shots from a handgun in the direction of his pursuers.

The victim died after being struck by a bullet fired from Bell’s handgun, said Romankow.

Bell was arrested on March 4, 2009 at his school around and was waived to adult court in May 2009.

Bell faces 10 years in prison when he is sentenced on October 14, 2011.

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Elizabeth Man Convicted of Aggravated Sexual Assault

A Union County Jury convicted an Elizabeth man earlier today on two counts of 1st Degree aggravated sexual assault and two counts of 1st Degree robbery, said Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow.

Jamal Coley DOB: 11/4/1969 faces life in prison when he is sentenced on September 30, 2011 before Judge Robert J. Mega said Assistant Prosecutor Michael Cleaver who prosecuted the case.

According to the investigation, on August 2, 2009, Coley, a registered sex offender, was on Union Avenue in Elizabeth when he approached a pickup truck containing a man and a woman. He robbed the man at gunpoint and then forced the woman into a nearby alley where he proceeded rob and rape her at gunpoint, said Cleaver.

Elizabeth Police Department Officers on routine patrol, noticed activity in the alley and discovered the woman being sexually assaulted. Officers Joseph Pevonis and Michael Carreto arrested Coley at the scene.

The jury convicted Coley after four-day trial and one day of deliberation. They also convicted him of 2nd Degree sexual assault and unlawful possession of a handgun.

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Authorities Investigating Plainfield Homicide

The Union County Homicide Task Force and the Plainfield Police Department continue to investigate the homicide of a city man discovered on Sunday afternoon.

Officers were called to a residence on the 1300 block of West Front Street, said Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow. Inside they discovered the victim who appeared to have been deceased for several days. An autopsy conducted on Monday concluded that the manner of death was homicide.

Given the nature of the victim’s injuries authorities worked for several days to gain a positive identification. This afternoon, after using tattoos to identify the victim he was identified as Julio Matute DOB 1/24/1983 of Plainfield.

This case remains under investigation and no arrests have been made. Anyone with information is eligible for an up to $5,000 reward by calling Union County Crimestoppers at 908-654-TIPS or online at uctip.org.

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Arrest made in Elizabeth Homicide

The Union County Homicide Task Force is currently investigating the beating death of a man that happened overnight in Elizabeth, said Prosecutor Theodore Romankow.

The homicide happened at 229 Broad Street Elizabeth (Royal Fried Chicken). According to the investigation, a physical altercation occurred inside the establishment between two male individuals. The fight continued onto the side walk where the suspect proceeded to beat victim to death. Victim was pronounced 3:23am and is identified as Donald Vankline (dob 9/11/67), suspect is identified as Mikel Anderson (4/22/65) and is currently in jail. Elizabeth Police Officers located suspect several minutes after the incident and made the arrest.

Anderson was charged with the murder and Judge Peim set the bail at $700,000.

Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.