CONVICT IN RUMSON MURDER SEEKS RETRIAL

kershaw arrestThe Red Bank Register story reporting the arrest of Albert Erle Kershaw in February, 1988. (Click to enlarge)

From Sunday’s Star-Ledger, a report on the efforts of a convicted killer to get a new trial. The victim, 50-year-old Earl Monroe Shoemaker, was gunned down in the driveway of his home on North Ward Avenue in Rumson on December 15, 1987.

Man convicted in 1987 Rumson murder returns to court seeking a new trial (via NJ.com)

John O’Boyle/The Star Ledger NEW BRUNSWICK — Albert Erle Kershaw was 24 years old in 1989 when he was sentenced to life in prison for the execution-style murder of his boss in Rumson two years earlier. Kershaw’s previous efforts to obtain a new…

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KILLER OF TWO GETS TWO LIFE TERMS

SuspectsAntonio ‘Mingo’ Suarez-Perez, left, will not be eligible for parole. Co-defendants Samson Theodore ‘Freedom’ Hearn, center, and Eric Joel ‘Pun’ Figueras testified against him.

The triggerman in 2009’s vicious double homicide on Red Bank’s West Side in has been sentenced to two consecutive life sentences, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office announced Friday.

Under a sentence handed down Friday morning by State Superior Court Judge Ronald Reisner, Antonio ‘Mingo’ Suarez-Perez, a 24-year-old borough resident, will not be eligible for parole for his role in the killings February 10, 2009 killings of Sidney Wakefield, 26, of Long Branch  and Joseph Fann, 23, of Middletown.

The sentencing comes two months after a jury in Freehold convicted Suarez-Perez on two counts of first-degree murder.

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SHOOTER FACING LIFE FOR DOUBLE HOMICIDE

SuspectsAntonio ‘Mingo’ Suarez-Perez, left, faces two life terms after co-defendants Samson Theodore ‘Freedom’ Hearn, center, and Eric Joel ‘Pun’ Figueras, right, testified against him.

By JOHN T. WARD

A Red Bank man is expected to be sentenced to two life terms in prison without eligibility for parole after a Monmouth County jury found he was the trigger man in a vicious double homicide in the borough three years ago.

After a two-month trial, Antonio ‘Mingo’ Suarez-Perez was convicted on two counts of first-degree murder in the early-morning killings on Locust Avenue in February, 2009, said Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutor Marc LeMieux.

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RED BANK: TRAYVON MARTIN VIGIL SLATED

Councilwoman Sharon Lee, wearing a hoodie in memory of Trayvon Martin, talks with Mayor Pasquale Menna before Wednesday night’s council meeting. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Three Red Bank council members wore hooded garments to Wednesday night’s bimonthly meeting as a local group put out word of a silent vigil next week in memory of slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.

A poster for the event, called “We Are Trayvon Martin,” encourages attendees to wear hoodies, the type of sweatshirt that Martin was wearing when he was killed in an encounter with a gun-toting resident of Sanford, Florida a month ago.

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YARBROUGH DEATH INSPIRES CALL FOR UNITY

yarbrough-vigil3 Mourners gathered outside the Bank Street house where a melee led to the fatal knifing of Larry Yarbrough and the serious wounding of another man on August 7. (Photos by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

yarbrough-vigil2By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Almost a week after the stabbing death of Larry Yarbrough, friends and relatives by the dozens filled a Red Bank street Saturday to push for action against his alleged killers while urging others to band together to prevent another tragedy from happening again.

Members of Yarbrough’s family led a procession down of about 200 down Shrewsbury Avenue to the Bank Street scene of the killing and held a vigil at a makeshift memorial where balloons, candles, pictures and bottles of liquor lay next to the sidewalk.

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LANDLORD CLAIMS POST-MURDER BURGLARY

yarbrough-memorialA curbside memorial to stabbing victim Larry Yarbrough decorates a tree outside 9 Bank Street. Below, the home’s cleared-out living room, with a broken window boarded over. (Click to enlarge)

living-roomThe owner of the Red Bank house that was the scene of a fatal knife-and-bottle melee early Sunday says the house was burglarized soon after crime-scene tape was removed by police Monday afternoon.

Landlord Sandra Meva tells redbankgreen that tenants contacted her shortly after investigators allowed them to return to the house at 9 Bank Street around 1 p.m. Monday and told her the house was in the process of being burglarized in broad daylight.

“They were just pulling stuff – their stuff – out of the house,” Meva said of the burglars.

Police, however, have a different account.

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COPS PROBE BANK STREET HOMICIDE

9-bank9-bank-door2Red Bank police and investigators from the Monmouth County Prosecutors office are investigating a homicide committed at 9 Bank Street at around 3 a.m. Sunday. Glass from a broken window and storm door litter the front porch, right. Sources tell redbankgreen two victims were stabbed, and one died, but official confirmation and details were not immediately available. (Click to enlarge)

EX CHARGED AS RED BANK WOMAN’S KILLER

viridiana-beltran-gomezThe estranged husband of a Red Bank woman missing since mid-May has been charged with her murder following the discovery of a body buried near the Garden State Parkway in Aberdeen, according to news reports over the weekend.

Oscar Prior-Ramirez, 31, or Eatontown, was charged in the death of Viridiana Beltran-Gomez, above, according to a report that first appeared in the Asbury Park Press Saturday night. Bail was set at $1.5 million.

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McCARTHY ON CRIME: 2010 NOT SO GOOD

mccarthy-chief-steve-2Red Bank Police Chief Steve McCarthy, commenting on Thursday’s report of a drop in crime in the borough in 2009, says next year’s report will show the opposite.

“Obviously, they’re encouraging,” McCarthy says of the 2009 results, which showed precipitous declines in the number of both violent and nonviolent crimes. “But I have to say, it’s one year, and I can tell you that comparing last year to this year, we’re up.”

Through October of this year, there have already been 21 robberies, up from the full-year 2009 total of 10, McCarthy says. The number of reported burglaries, too, is up, to 29 through October, from 22 in all of last year, he says.

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RED BANK’S CRIME RATE PLUNGES

hot-topic rightEven with a rare double homicide, Red Bank’s crime rate plummeted in 2009, according to data released today by the New Jersey State Police.

The agency’s annual Uniform Crime Report indicates that both violent and non-violent crime rates fell in the borough from 2008, when no homicides occurred.

The number of reported rapes dropped from four in 2008 to one last year, and the total number of violent crimes fell by nearly half, from 57  to 30, the report says.

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WALK FOR SLAIN TEACHER PLANNED

melton-2010-1A vigil on the one-year anniversary of Jonelle Melton’s murder attracted about 80 students, teachers and parents to Riverside Gardens Park ank Tuesday night. A memorial walk is planned for Saturday. (Photos by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

melton-2010-2

Friends and colleagues of slain Red Bank Middle School teacher Jonelle Melton plan a memorial fundraising walk at the school Saturday.

An opening ceremony is scheduled for 9:30a with music, a butterfly release and a dedication of a small butterfly garden. A walk around Red Bank will follow. The rain date for the walk is Sunday.

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TWO COP PLEAS IN LOCUST AVE. MURDERS

SuspectsSamson Theodore ‘Freedom’ Hearn, center, and Eric Joel ‘Pun’ Figueras, right, have agreed to testify at the trial of alleged gunman Antonio  ‘Mingo’ Suarez-Perez, left.

Two of the three men charged in last February’s double slaying on Locust Avenue in Red Bank have agreed to testify against the alleged shooter, according to a report published by the Asbury Park Press on Friday.

Borough resident Eric Joel ‘Pun’ Figueras and Fair Haven’s Samson Theodore Hearn, nicknamed ‘Freedom,’ have already entered guilty pleas to a charge of hindering apprehension, Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutor Peter Warshaw tells the newspaper.

They face up to five years in prison, and are expected to be sentenced after the trial of Antonio Suarez-Perez, nicknamed ‘Mingo,’ who authorities say brutally shot two men in an attempt to steal cocaine at about 1:35a February 10. Read More »

SLAIN TEACHER’S EX SPEAKS

jonelle-meltonA little more than a month after his estranged wife and co-worker Jonelle Melton was found murdered in her Neptune City apartment, Red Bank Middle School teacher Michael Melton has given the Asbury Park Press an interview in which he confronts a rumor that he is a suspect.

“I’m not capable of anything like that. I loved her to death,” Melton told the Press. “There’s no way I was ever involved in anything like that, but until they say otherwise, people are always going to wonder,” he said.

Both Meltons worked as teachers at the middle school. He’s on leave and scheduled to return to work December 1, but “he worries what the reaction from colleagues and students will be when he returns to his fourth-grade classroom,” the Press reports.

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TRIO INDICTED IN RED BANK DOUBLE MURDER

SuspectsIndicted in the February 10 slayings were, from left, alleged gunman Antonio  ‘Mingo’ Suarez-Perez; Samson Theodore ‘Freedom’ Hearn; and Eric Joel ‘Pun’ Figueras.

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.”

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