ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–A two vehicle accident occurred at mile marker 63 north bound inner car lanes at 8:05 pm. The NJ State Police and the Robbinsville Township Fire Department responded. Traffic was backed up over two miles in the north bound lanes and NJ State Police pushed vehicles out of the way to reopen the Turnpike. When Robbinsville firefighters and EMS arrived they checked for injures, one person was evaluated on scene. No further information was available about the accident.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Hundreds rallied at the New Jersey State House in the 95F heat wave to protest against Governor Phil Murphy’s lock down executive orders. The rally featured Ian Smith the Atilis Gym Owner who has battled with the executive orders trying to reopen his gym. Currently the gym is locked closed by the State of NJ but Smith vows to reopen his gym despite the orders. Other speakers were Senator Joe Pennacchio, Dr. Andy Wakefield, Drs. Teri and Stu Warner, Patti Finn Esq., Alya Wolf, Kevin Jenkins, Stephanie Locricchio, Dr. Liam Schubel, Shilamida and Ben Riviera, and more spoke at today’s rally. Many protesters tried to find shade off to the sides of the building in the 95F heat as they listened to the speakers.
Michael Owens, 28, of Trenton, is charged with first-degree murder, second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon and second-degree certain persons not to possess a weapon.
According to the New Jersey Department of Corrections website, Owens was released on parole from state prison on June 1, 2020.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri announced today that the Mercer County Homicide Task Force has filed murder charges against Michael Owens for the July 17, 2020 shooting death of Luis X. Gonzalez.
Owens, 28, of Trenton, is charged with first-degree murder, second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon and second-degree certain persons not to possess a weapon. He was served his complaints at the Mercer County Correction Center where has been held since July 24 after he was taken into custody for aggravated assault and theft by unlawful taking. Owens was charged with these offenses in Hamilton Township on July 17. According to the New Jersey Department of Corrections website, Owens was released on parole from state prison on June 1, 2020.
The prosecutor’s office has filed a detention motion in the murder case. Owens is scheduled to appear in court on Monday, August 3, for a detention hearing on the Hamilton assault charges.
The murder charges are the result of an investigation by the Mercer County Homicide Task Force.
On July 17, 2020, just before 9 p.m., Trenton police received calls for shots fired and a male shot in the middle of the street in the 1000 block of South Broad Street. Officers arrived on scene and located the victim, later identified as 37-year-old Gonzalez, in the middle of the street suffering from multiple gunshots to the torso. He was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later.
The investigation revealed that the victim was at home in his South Broad Street residence just prior to being shot. He left his house while on his cell phone and was shot shortly thereafter.
The victim’s cell phone was recovered by hospital staff and turned over to police. Investigation revealed that a cell phone number repeatedly contacted Gonzalez in the hour before and immediately prior to his murder. Officers also recovered .380 caliber shell casings at the scene of the shooting.
Detectives were able to locate numerous cameras in the area of the shooting and ascertain that Gonzalez walked directly from the area in front of his residence toward a vehicle and was shot several seconds later. Based on the video, the vehicle appeared to be a black Chevy Malibu which had recently been reported stolen in Hamilton. Investigation into the stolen vehicle led homicide detectives to a domestic violence incident that occurred in Hamilton on July 17, 2020. This incident involved an argument between Owens and his girlfriend that became physical. Owens placed his hand around his girlfriend’s neck in an attempt to stop the blood circulation. When the victim was able to escape his grasp, Owens fled the residence and took her cell phone so she couldn’t contact the police. Further investigation revealed the reason for the altercation was that Owens discovered Gonzalez’s number in his girlfriend’s phone and confronted her about it. The victim’s mother is the registered owner of a black Chevy Malibu and Owens also took the keys to the vehicle when he left the house. Images obtained during the homicide investigation confirm distinctive features of this Malibu match those of the Malibu involved in Gonzalez’s murder.
Detectives were also able to obtain surveillance video from the Roadrunner Gas Station on Brunswick Avenue from July 17, approximately 25 minutes before the murder, when the Chevy Malibu pulled in for gas. Owens was positively identified as the driver who exited the vehicle.
Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
CHECK OUT THE LIST OF MIDJERSEY.NEWS STORIES ON CITY OF TRENTON 2020 SHOOTINGS, GUN VIOLENCE, STABBINGS AND HOMICIDES HERE:
And the list grows: Other Recent Trenton Shooting and Homicide Stories:(There has been a lot more gun violence, stabbings and shootings but these are ones we have enough information to report on)
Administration’s Success in Unfreezing Federal Grants Helped Bridge Funding Gap
July 30, 2020
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor W. Reed Gusciora today held a groundbreaking event to showcase Trenton’s latest housing project, which will create 72 units of affordable and sustainable housing units in North Trenton in the Fall of 2021.
“We are turning a once vacant lot into affordable homes for over 70 Trenton families,” said Mayor Gusciora. “As a result of our success in restoring Trenton as a trustworthy steward of federal grants, we’ve been able to unfreeze millions of dollars in funding, including $800,000 in HUD Home Investment Partnerships money that helped push financing for this project over the finish line.”
The Patriot Village II project will include 11 one-bedroom units, 42 two-bedroom units, and 19 three-bedroom units, including housing reserved for homeless residents, with a preference for veterans. Every floor will include laundry facilities and each unit will include stainless steel appliances, high efficiency lighting systems, and open floor plans.
Trenton receives three entitlement grants each year from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD): the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, the Emergency Solutions Grant, and the Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME).
For years, these grants were frozen because of concerns that the city couldn’t properly manage the funds. Now that the administration has put in place the appropriate staff, consultants, partners, and expertise, those funds are once again at the city’s disposal. In April 2020, the city was able to use $800,000 in HOME funding to bridge the funding gap required for Patriot Village II project.
Bank of America will provide $18.3 million in construction financing and $14 million in low income housing tax credit equity to RPM Development for the construction of Patriot Village II.
“Developments like Patriot Village II are great examples of how we can empower local neighborhoods and further our commitment to the communities that we serve,” said Maurice Coleman, Senior Vice-President of Commercial Real Estate-Community Development Banking at Bank of America.
The project was also awarded low income housing tax credits from the N.J. Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency in the 2018 cycle. An award of $1.3 million was also secured from the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York’s Affordable Housing Program to help finance the project.
All residents of Patriot Village II will have access to educational activities for children as well as wellness and health activities.
“This project will increase spending at nearby restaurants and businesses in the North Ward,” said North Ward City Councilwoman Marge Caldwell-Wilson. “We want to build a sense of pride in being a Trentonian. That’s why our community clamored for years to get a project like this one started.”
“After fourteen challenging years, we are very pleased to start construction on this ambitious project, and we look forward to having a positive impact on the neighborhood for many years to come,” said Michael Knab, Senior Vice-President of Development for RPM Development. RPM Development Group, one of the leading developers of affordable housing in New Jersey, focuses on renovating abandoned or vacant properties.
The Gusciora Administration was also able to unfreeze years of CDBG funds. As a result, the city recouped $1.5 million in HUD reimbursements and is now able use $3.75 million in CDBG funding to help restore youth programs, parks, senior centers, community recreation spots, as well as rehabilitate homes and provide first time homebuyer assistance.
TRENTON-HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Yesterday Hamilton West, Nottingham and Steinert High Schools held their graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2020 at Arm & Hammer Park, Trenton Thunder Stadium. Graduation was delayed this year due to COVID-19 and the ceremonies that are usually held indoors at the arena were held outdoors at the baseball stadium to help keep everyone safe by following Governor Murphy’s COVID-19 rules and executive orders.
Photos below provided by the Trenton Thunder:
Tweets from the three Hamilton Township graduations held at Trenton Thunder, Arm & Hammer Park: