A suspect being held in connection with a nonfatal stabbing at an Elizabeth boarding house last week has been additionally charged with murder and two weapons offenses in connection with a fatal stabbing that occurred in the same building, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Thursday.
Bail for 34-year-old Alexander Kerton was set at $800,000 by state Superior Court Judge Stuart Peim.
Kerton was arrested Monday evening by two Elizabeth police officers who spotted him walking near the intersection of Westfield and Morris avenues in the city’s downtown. The defendant was in possession of a knife at the time, but was taken into custody without incident.
An arrest warrant for Kerton had been issued earlier on a charge of aggravated assault in connection with an incident that took place late last week at his home on the 300 block of Morris Avenue in Elizabeth. Kerton was charged with stabbing a fellow resident of his building numerous times; the victim as of midweek remained at Newark’s University Hospital in guarded condition.
The investigation later led to Kerton being charged with the stabbing death of 67-year-old John Forte, whose body was found in a housing unit of the same building not long after the nonfatal stabbing took place.
This remains an active investigation. Anyone with information about either of these stabbing incidents is being urged to contact the Elizabeth Police Department at 908-558-2011 or Detective Raymond Smith at 908-558-2017.
These criminal charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.