Two men have been charged with killing a Brooklyn resident last month after an attempt to rob him went awry, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Tuesday.
Ali Garner, 28, and Keon Lewis, 29, both of Elizabeth, are charged with first-degree felony murder in connection with the death of 41-year-old Mamuka Chamiashvili.
It was approximately 10:15 p.m. on Tuesday, September 16 when police were called to the area of Jacques and East Jersey streets in Elizabeth to find Chamiashvili, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
An intensive joint investigation by the Union County Homicide Task Force and the Elizabeth Police Department revealed that the victim was in the area responding to an online posting on the website craigslist advertising a Mercedes-Benz SUV for sale in the city, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Bruce Holmes, who is prosecuting the case. Upon the conclusion of a test drive of the vehicle, men later identified as Garner and Lewis approached and gunshots rang out, Holmes said.
Lewis was charged last week following a weeklong effort by the Prosecutor’s Office, the Elizabeth Police Department, and the Union County Sheriff’s Office to locate and arrest him. Garner was arrested by members of the Union County Homicide Task Force the week before. Bail for Lewis and Garner was set at $2 million apiece by state Superior Court Judge Regina Caulfield and state Superior Court Judge Joseph P. Donohue, respectively.
Convictions on felony murder charges can carry sentences of 30 years to life in state prison.
Anyone with additional information about this incident or any similar incident is being urged to contact Union County Prosecutor’s Office Sgt. Kevin Grimmer at 908-447-3777 or Detective Mike Bowe at 908-514-2080.
These criminal charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.