Elizabeth man indicted for murder

Union County grand jury has returned a five-count indictment against the Elizabeth resident charged with robbing and fatally shooting a man outside a local housing complex earlier this year, acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo announced Friday.

Ronald Santiago, Jr., 22, is charged with first-degree murder, first-degree felony murder, first-degree robbery, and two related second-degree weapons offenses in connection with the death of 27-year-old Alphonso James of Elizabeth.

Elizabeth Police Department patrol units responding to a report of a shooting at the community pool area of the Mravlag Manor housing complex during the early hours of Tuesday, June 4, 2019, found James there with his pants pockets turned inside out, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Armando Suarez, who is prosecuting the case. James was pronounced dead a little more than half an hour later, Suarez said.

A joint investigation by the Union County Homicide Task Force, Elizabeth Police Department, Union County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Unit, and Union County Police Department Ballistics Unit quickly resulted in Santiago being identified as a suspect in the case, and he was arrested later on the same morning of the shooting, then transported to the Union County Jail pending proceedings in Superior Court.

Anyone with information about this matter is still being urged to contact Task Force Sgt. Danika Ramos at 908-451-7739 or Detective Christopher Scuorzo at 908-472-0492.

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

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