By JOHN T. WARD
But witnesses in the Freehold trial of Anthony Sims have been instructed not to say anything in front of jurors about a second set of charges, in which the victim in this case, Perry Veney Jr., is alleged to have later participated in the murder of Sims’ brother, the Asbury Park Press reported Tuesday.
Prosecutors opened the trial alleging that Sims, of Long Branch, “took a bitter family feud into his own hands when he fired 15 shots” at Veney, also of Long Branch, while he sat in the driver’s seat of a car on April 9, 2014, the Press reported.
Sims had been out of prison for shooting two brothers on the borough’s West Side for just three months when he shot Veney in the driveway of his grandmother’s house at 13 Willow Street, Assistant Prosecutor Martha Nye said, according to the Press.
Veney, now 31, was shot in the legs, back, arms, lungs and face, and underwent three surgeries over 22 days he spent at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune Township, Nye said, according to the report.
Sims was arrested without incident in Neptune five days after the attack.
Defense lawyer John Perrone “hammered away at the prosecution’s case,” arguing that no witnesses identified Sims at the scene of the shooting, the Press reported.
From the Press:
“You’re not going to hear anybody say with positivity, ‘I saw the face of the shooter,”‘ Perrone told the jury.
Perrone argued the shooting happened too fast for Veney to identify the gunman and said that Veney never told police at the scene who his assailant was. He allegedly told one inquiring detective,”I don’t know.”
Perrone contended that it would have been difficult for people in the neighborhood to identify the shooter because the shooter was wearing a sweatshirt with a hood pulled down and a white bandanna covering the lower part of his face.
“The identification was made by an individual who saw a person’s eyes,” he said. “There are many, many questions about the ability to make an identification.”
Fifteen months after the shooting, Veney and a Delaware man, Frederick Reed, shot and killed Sims’ brother, Rasheem Palmer outside the Country Club Apartments in Eatontown, authorities alleged last December. That case has not gone to trial.
In 2010, Sims pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree attempted passion provocation manslaughter and a related gun possession charge for shooting two brothers in Red Bank in November, 2007. He served five and a half years of a seven-year sentence and was released from prison in January, 2014.