Three men were indicted by a grand jury Wednesday in the slayings of two others on Red Bank’s Locust Avenue last February, the Monmouth County announced yesterday.
Antonio Suarez-Perez, 21, and Eric Figueras, 25, both of Red Bank, were charged with first degree murder. Samson Hearn, 27, of Fair Haven, was charged with felony murder. All three were charged with armed robbery. Each faces a minimum 30 years in prison if convicted.
Monmouth County Prosecutor Luis Valentin called the slayings of 26-year-old Sidney Wakefield of Long Branch and 23-year-old Joseph Fann previously identified as a Red Bank resident, and now said to be of Middletown ”senseless acts of violence for which these three men must now face justice.”
The early-morning shootings shocked Red Bank, which had not had a double homicide in recent memory, officials said. The crime left one victim dead in a car and another near the intersection of Leighton Place.
Authorities believe the victims and the suspects had a late-night “chance encounter” at a local gas station that set the scene for the shootings two hours later, when the Suarez-Perez, who goes by the nickname ‘Mingo,’ and the victims suspects had a “confrontation” on Locust Avenue, Valentin said at a press conference in February.
Suarez-Perez “brandished a handgun” and started shooting, he said. As Wakefield fled the car, the suspect shot him, and continued shooting, Valentin said at the time. Wakefield was shot “five times, at close range, while he lay on the ground,” Valentin said.
Suarez-Perez, 21, then fled on foot to where his accomplices were waiting in an Audi, Valentin said.
A press release about yesterday’s indictment makes no mention of a purported attempt to rob Wakefield and Fann of cocaine. In February, Valentin cited that as a factor in the crime.
The suspects’ vehicle was located and stopped by Red Bank Patrolman James DePonte on Route 35 in Middletown. He made the arrests with the assistance of Middletown police.
Hearn and Figueras are being held at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution in lieu of $2 million bail. Bail for Perez is set atf $3.37 million.