Fifth Suspect Arrested in Paterson Murder

According to authorities, a 24 year-old woman, Jenna Peselli from Newton is the fifth suspect to be arrested as part of a murder which allegedly took place in Paterson on May 1, 2021 on Redwood and Totowa Avenues. Police allege that there was a conspiracy which involving numerous teenagers, who were previously arrested. Authorities allege that Peselli and four teenagers, worked together to kill 21 year-old Jose Figueroa of Newark in a “planned-attack”. Peselli was charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder. She was involved in the planning and execution of the crime. She is currently being held at the Passaic County Jail. Click here to read more at

Murder is codified under N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3, which provides:

Criminal homicide constitutes murder when:

  1. The actor purposely causes death or serious bodily injury resulting in death; or
  2. The actor knowingly causes death or serious bodily injury resulting in death; or
  3. It is committed when the actor, acting either alone or with one or more other persons, is engaged in the commission of, or an attempt to commit, or flight after committing or attempting to commit robbery, sexual assault, arson, burglary, kidnapping, carjacking, criminal escape or terrorism, and in the course of such crime or of immediate flight therefrom, any person causes the death of a person other than one of the participants;

EXCEPTIONS: in any prosecution under this subsection, in which the defendant was not the only participant in the underlying crime, it is an affirmative defense that the defendant:

  • Did not commit the homicidal act or in any way solicit, request, command, importune, cause or aid the commission thereof; and
  • Was not armed with a deadly weapon, or any instrument, article or substance readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury and or a sort not ordinarily carried in public places by law-abiding persons; and
  • Had no reasonable ground to believe that any other participant was armed with such a weapon, instrument, article or substance; and
  • Had no reasonable ground to believe that any other participant intended to engage in conduct likely to result in death or serious physical injury.

If a loved one or family member is charged with murder, you should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. Former Morris County Prosecutor, Alissa D. Hascup is skilled and experienced at defending individuals charged with the entire range of violent crimes. She is committed to protecting your rights in court and freedom. Contact her office for a free consultation. She is available 24/7 at 862-257-1200.