12 men charged with eight Essex County murders

NEWARK — Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced that the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide/Major Task Force, working with other law enforcement partners, have charged 12 individuals in connection with eight murders that occurred in Newark, Irvington, Orange and East Orange during the months of June and July. Based on the information available at this time, the murders are unrelated.

In addition to detectives and assistant prosecutors from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, the Homicide Task Force also includes personnel from Newark, Bloomfield, East Orange, and Irvington Police Departments, the New Jersey State Police and Essex County Sheriff’s Department.

*Kevin Miller, 24 of Newark is a fugitive from justice. He is wanted for the murder of Shakime Peppers, 24, of Newark who was killed on June 20, in the 300 block of 6th Avenue in Newark. In addition to murder, Miller is also charged with conspiracy, robbery and weapons charges. Bail has been set at $750,000.

Dwayne Gaskins, 39, and Shariff Robinson, 39, both of Newark, were arrested for the fatal shooting of Jeffery Miller of Orange, on June 22, in the 400 block of Park Avenue in Orange. Both men are charged with murder, felony murder, robbery, and weapons charges. Bail has been set at $1 million for Gaskins and Robinson.

Kyle Nelson, 26, of Orange was arrested and charged with the shooting murder of James R. Hurd of Orange who was shot and killed on June 29, at 42-44 Berwyn Street in Orange. Nelson has been charged with murder, conspiracy, aggravated assault on a police officer, resisting arrest and hindering Apprehension. His bail was set at $1 million.

*Tusha Latham, 31, of Newark is wanted in connection with the shooting murder of Alim Abdul Ghafur, 35, of Newark on July 3, in the 200 block of Washington Street in Newark. Latham was charged with murder, felony murder, armed robbery and weapon charges. He is a fugitive from justice. His bail is set at $1 million.

Lewis Williams, 18, and Isiah Hutchins, 22, both of East Orange were charged with the shooting murder of Ahmad Crudup of East Orange on July 5, in the 200 block of Clinton Place in East Orange. Both are charged with murder, attempted murder and weapons charges. Bail for both was set at $500,000.

Jonathan Tejeda, 23, of Newark was arrested and charged with the murder of Robert Seth Hayes who was killed on Verona Avenue in Newark on July 9.

Two others are also charged and are wanted for the murder. They are *Eric Santiago, 26, of Belleville, and *Edgardo Mendez, 23, of Newark. Bail for all three is set at $500,000.

Daevon Davis, 26, of Newark was charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder and weapons charges for killing Christopher Graham, 44, of Irvington on July 13. The murder occurred in the 100 block of Isabella Avenue in Newark. Davis is being held on $1 million bail.

*Mario Gayles, 31, of East Orange was charged with the murder of Icrish Bostic, 33, of Phillipsburg. The murder occurred in the 1200 block of Springfield Avenue in Irvington on July 15. Gayles is wanted for murder and weapons offenses. Bail is set at $1 million.

Acting Prosecutor Murray commended members of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide/Major Task Force, noting that the partnership with other law enforcement agencies along with help from the community were critical in these investigations.

The investigations are continuing. Anyone with information regarding these murders or the whereabouts of the wanted persons is asked to call the ECPO at 877-847-7432 or 877-TIPS-4-EC.

All calls will be confidential.

These are accusations. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they enter a guilty plea or are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

* Indicates the person is at large and wanted.

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