Multiple Murder Suspects Identified as Essex County Homicide Rate Continues to Rise

As a follow-up to two earlier posts regarding homicides in Essex County, police have arrested multiple suspects in connection with shootings in Newark and Irvington, resulting in a total of five fatalities, two of which were juveniles. The incidents also left three others injured.

The first shooting, which occurred on Christmas night on the 100 block of Schley Street in the South Ward of Newark at approximately 10 p.m., resulted in the deaths of 13-year-old Zainee Hailey and 15-year-old Kasson Morman. The third victim injured during the incident, 14-year-old Abdul “Scooter” Frazier, is currently in the hospital.

According to authorities, Hailey was shot while she was taking out the garbage at her family’s home. Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray identified Hailey as an “innocent bystander.” Morman and Frazier were both shot on the porch of the residence.

Following an investigation by officers from the Newark Police Department as well as officials from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force, a 15-year-old male Newark resident is facing charges for murder, attempted murder, and weapons offenses. The identity of the accused, who was arrested on Tuesday, December 31st, has not been revealed due to his status as a juvenile.

Murray stated in a recent press conference that the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office will make a determination as to whether the accused should be tried in juvenile court or if the charges should be waived up to adult court. If the young man is tried as an adult, he will be subject to increasingly severe penalties if convicted of the charges against him.

In another case involving a shooting that occurred on Christmas morning outside a strip club in Irvington, New Jersey, resulting in three dead and two injured, authorities have issued an arrest warrant after identifying a suspect.

According to Murray, police have identified 19-year-old Anthony Fields as responsible for the shootings of 34-year-old Elizabeth resident Pierre Clervoyant Jr., 32-year-old Hillside resident Woodley Daniel, and 27-year-old Newark resident Mushir Cureton outside of Slick’s Go-Go Bar in Irvington. A 27-year-old man from Irvington as well as a 34-year-old man from East Orange were also injured during the incident.

Fields has yet to be apprehended by authorities but he could be charged with three counts of murder as well as two counts of attempted murder, in addition to weapons offenses, once he is taken into custody.

These cases represent a widespread trend of homicides in Essex County in 2013, where the rate of homicides has increased by 25 percent. In addition, a total of nine homicides involving multiple victims occurred in Essex this year, which represents the highest total in the past five years. In Newark specifically, the number of homicides has reached the highest amount since 1990. One possible explanation for the drastic rise could be the growing accessibility of high-powered weapons, according to Anthony Ambrose, the Essex County Prosecutor’s chief of detectives.

For more information pertaining to these cases, access the following articles: 5 charged with Newark, Irvington killings