Linden man indicted for murder

A Union County grand jury has returned a three-count indictment against a Linden resident who fatally shot a man late last year, acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan announced Monday.

Shansey Abernathy, 23, is charged with first-degree murder and two related second-degree weapons offenses in connection with the death of 27-year-old Alphonso Pearson. 

Shortly after 12:45 p.m. on Wednesday, December 20, 2017, members of the Linden Police Department responded to the 800 block of Cleveland Avenue on a report of a shooting and found Pearson outside of his home, suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Jeremiah Lenihan, who is prosecuting the case. Pearson was rushed to Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth, where he was pronounced dead, Lenihan said.

An ensuing investigation involving the Union County Homicide Task Force, Union County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Unit, Union County Police Department Ballistics Unit, and Linden Police Department quickly resulted in Abernathy being identified as a suspect in the case, and he turned himself in to authorities the day after the shooting.  

Anyone with information about this matter is being urged to contact Homicide Task Force Lt. Jose Vendas at 908-358-3048 or Detective Lamar Hartsfield at 908-451-1873.

Convictions on murder charges are commonly punishable by terms of 30 years to life in state prison.

These criminal charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.