Day: September 2, 2020

Man Arrested In Aug 25, 2020 Trenton Stabbing Homicide

See related MidJersey.News story here: Latest Stabbing Brings Trenton’s Homicide Death Toll To 27

September 2, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The Mercer County Homicide Task Force has made an arrest in the Shamira Williams stabbing homicide on Laurel Place, August 25, 2020.  Irvin Hayes, 33, was arrested last night in Trenton.  He’s charged with murder and weapons offenses, as well as resisting arrest and obstruction for last night’s arrest.  The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office is filing a motion to detain.

Updated: Serious Accident In Ewing Township

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On September 2, 2020 at 4:39 p.m. Ewing Dispatch received 9-1-1 calls regarding a motor vehicle crash on Parkway Avenue in front of 1201 Parkway Avenue. 

The crash involved one vehicle that struck a utility pole and a tree.  Upon patrol arrival, the driver was found unconscious.  Ewing Township Fire Department Emergency services extricated the driver, a 39-year-old male from Ewing, NJ. 

The driver was then transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton.  No charges have been filed at this time. Anyone with information concerning the crash is asked to contact Officer Ricardo Sookhu at (609) 882-1313

Photos by: Brian McCarthy OnScene News

Mercer County Man Sentenced to Five Years In State Prison for Distributing Child Sexual Abuse Materials Online Using File-Sharing Software

Herbert Bell, 58, of Ewing, N.J., was sentenced to five years in state prison, including 2 ½ years of parole ineligibility

September 2, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a Mercer  County man was sentenced to state prison today for using file-sharing software to distribute child sexual abuse materials on the internet.

Herbert Bell, 58, of Ewing, N.J., was sentenced to five years in state prison, including 2 ½ years of parole ineligibility, by Superior Court Judge Darlene J. Pereksta in Mercer County.  He will be required to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law and will be subject to parole supervision for life.  Bell pleaded guilty on Sept. 23, 2019 to a second-degree charge of storing or maintaining child sexual abuse materials using a file-sharing program.

Deputy Attorney General Thomas Huynh prosecuted Bell for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Cyber Crimes Bureau.

Bell was arrested on Aug. 10, 2018, when detectives of the New Jersey State Police Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit, assisted by other members of the New Jersey Regional ICAC Task Force, executed a search warrant at his residence.  A State Police detective previously downloaded 14 files of child sexual abuse material from a shared folder at an IP address traced to Bell.  During the search, detectives seized a desktop computer belonging to Bell. A forensic examination of the computer revealed approximately 3,000 files of child sexual abuse material on the computer.

“We are determined to seek substantial prison sentences for offenders like Bell, because the more they collect and distribute these abhorrent materials, the more they drive the terrible sexual abuse of young children,” said Attorney General Grewal.  “We will continue to collaborate across all levels of law enforcement to bring these criminals to justice.”

“We monitor the internet on a daily basis with our law enforcement partners to apprehend the offenders who exploit and re-victimize children by distributing child sexual abuse materials,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice.  “We want these criminals to know that when we catch them, they will face serious prison time.”

“By repeatedly sharing images of abuse, Bell is just as responsible for robbing the victims of their innocence and shattering the lives of their families as those who committed these unspeakable acts,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.  “The New Jersey State Police ICAC Unit will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to protect our youth from the re-victimization caused by file sharing and send a clear message to offenders that we will utilize every tool at our disposal to bring them to justice.”

Just last week, Attorney General Grewal announced arrests of 21 sex offenders as a result of a collaborative operation led by the New Jersey ICAC Task Force.  They included 18 defendants charged with possessing and/or distributing child sexual abuse materials, and three charged with sexually assaulting or attempting to sexually assault children.

More details of the 21 arrests in “Operation Screen Capture” are available on our website:

The file-sharing networks used by offenders to distribute child sexual abuse materials operate in the same manner as websites used for privately sharing music or movies.  Those in possession of the illegal images can make them available on computers that they control for others to download.  Because many of the videos and photos of child sexual abuse shared on these networks keep recirculating, they result in the perpetual re-victimization of the children who were sexually assaulted or abused to produce them.

Attorney General Grewal and Director Allende urged anyone with information about the distribution of child sexual abuse materials on the internet – or about suspected improper contact by unknown persons communicating with children via the internet or possible exploitation or sexual abuse of children – to contact the New Jersey ICAC Task Force Tipline at 888-648-6007.

Defense Attorney: Mark G. Davis, Esq., Hamilton, N.J.

3 Day Multi-Agency Operation In Trenton, 20 Fugitives Arrested In Trenton, Drugs, Guns Ammunition And Cash Seized

September 2, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The New Jersey State Police, Trenton Police Department, U.S. Marshals Service, and the New Jersey Department of Corrections conducted a 3-day mobile deployment initiative in the city of Trenton that resulted in the arrest of 20 fugitives and the seizure of drugs, guns, ammunition, and cash.

Detectives from the New Jersey State Police Fugitive Unit, Crime Suppression Central Unit, K-9 Unit, and Electronic Surveillance Unit along with members of the United States Marshals Service NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force – Trenton Division, Trenton Police Department, and the New Jersey Department of Corrections targeted violent, recidivist criminals who had warrants for their arrest and were believed to be involved in recent criminal activity within the city. The targets for the operation were identified through various investigative means including street level-intelligence, patrol advisories, and information provided by the Crime Analysis Unit of the New Jersey Regional Operations Intelligence Center (ROIC).

From Wednesday, August 26 to Friday, August 28, a total of 20 fugitives wanted by state, county, and local law enforcement agencies were apprehended in Trenton. The accused were wanted for various crimes including unlawful possession of firearms, certain persons not to possess a firearm, parole violations, burglary, and various drug-related offenses. All suspects were lodged at the Mercer County Correction Center.

Evidence seized as a result of the operation:
• .40 caliber Hi-Point semi-auto handgun (defaced) with extended magazine
• .45 caliber Smith & Wesson semi-auto handgun
• .32 caliber RG revolver
• .357 caliber revolver
• 12-gauge Remington shotgun
• 10-gauge Browning shotgun
• Hollow point ammunition
• More than 21 bricks of heroin
• More than 10 grams of crack cocaine
• More than 3 pounds of marijuana
• 18 ecstasy pills
• More than $38,400 cash

“This fugitive operation reflects the commitment of our state, federal and local law enforcement agencies to work together to stem the tide of violence in Trenton,” said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “Through these warrant sweeps, we not only take dangerous criminals off the street, we also develop leads that can assist us in dismantling the drug networks that are driving gun violence in the city and fueling the epidemic of opiate addiction. I commend all of the law enforcement partners who collaborated in this proactive violence-suppression effort.”

“This multi-agency collaborative operation resulted in the apprehension of dangerous fugitives from justice, many of whom were armed at the time of their arrest, responsible for violent crimes within the city of Trenton,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “Our commitment to protecting our Capital City does not end with these 20 arrests. We will continue to work cooperatively with our law enforcement partners in our relentless pursuit of violent crime offenders who attempt to hide from justice.”

“This initiative clearly demonstrates that there are significant legal consequences for those who willfully engage in corrupt, unlawful activity,” said New Jersey Department of Corrections Commissioner Marcus O. Hicks, Esq. “We are grateful to those members of the criminal justice system who collaborated on this operation.”

Charges are mere accusations, and the accused are considered innocent until proven guilty.

75 Years Ago, World War II Came To An End

September 2, 2020

Statement by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) – Today, September 2, 2020,  marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II and the day Imperial Japan signed the Instrument of Surrender aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.

The war that began for the United States with the bloody and unprovoked attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 ended on September 2, 1945 with unconditional surrender bringing to a close a war that Americans fought on two fronts where over 400,000 Americans sacrificed their lives for freedom and democracy.

What followed on September 3, 1945 was unprecedented in world history—the democratization and rebuilding by America of a former adversary.

Japan and Germany—the latter assisted by the Marshall Plan—are today great friends and allies of the United States.

he World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. contains a quote most fitting for today. President Truman expressed the profound gratitude of our Nation which is as true today as it was when he first uttered the words: “Our debt to the heroic man and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid.  They have earned our undying gratitude; America will never forget their sacrifices.”

May we never forget that when faced with an attack on our Nation, American soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, coast guard and merchant marine—backed by Home Front workers and supported by spouses, family, and fellow Americans—responded with great courage and perseverance.

In like manner, my wife’s father, Donald Hahn, served at sea onboard the heavy cruiser USS Canberra and was a part of the massive effort to subdue the large and highly capable Japanese navy. My dad, Bern Smith, was a combat infantryman who fought in New Guinea and other islands and was deployed to the Philippines for its liberation. He seldom spoke about his experience—it was too painful even decades later—but my dad often spoke of the incredible bond of friendship forged with his army buddies during battle and the indomitable will to overcome all adversity and prevail.Today, my wife Marie and I remember both our fathers’ and the lasting legacy of service to country they left to our family. Both served in the Pacific theatre. Both were card-carrying members of the Greatest Generation that saved the world from oppression and tyranny. Both simply said they did their duty.

Today, we remember and we honor the exceptional heroism of the Greatest Generation. The passage of time will never diminish the respect and gratitude of Americans for the sacrifice and valor of those who fought to safeguard liberty in World War II on the battlefield and on the Home Front.

Hamilton Township Announces Residential Tree Planting Initiative

September 2, 2020

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Hamilton Township will be offering free shade trees to Hamilton Township residents.

The residential tree planting initiative is due to the efforts of the Hamilton Township Shade Tree Commission. Over the next three years, Hamilton will spend over $1 million to remove dead and dying trees and plant new trees around town.  The program is funded by private developers that pay into an escrow fund when trees are removed from properties under construction and, under the law, can only be used for this purpose. While the Township takes requests for new curbside trees year round, we are ramping up our efforts to reach all Hamilton Township residents on a neighborhood by neighborhood level. 

“We applaud Mayor Martin and the Hamilton Township Council for their efforts to provide free shade trees to the residents of Hamilton,” said Henry Gajda, Policy Director New Jersey LCV. “We know that local shade trees provide a litany of benefits, like increasing property values, improving soil and water conservation, storing carbon and helping moderate local climate. We encourage the residents of Hamilton to reach out to the Hamilton Township Division of Planning to participate in this great, free initiative.”

The Township plans to have the trees planted in curbside planting beds so that they will not interfere with sidewalks or utility lines.  While there is no cost to residents for the trees, the Township asks that residents jointly care for the tree in the first three years of growth.

“Planting new trees throughout Hamilton, at no cost to our residents, is a win-win,” said Mayor Jeff Martin.  Healthy trees provide environmental benefits such as cleaner air and cooler temperatures for homes they help shade – helping to lower energy consumption.  Additionally, healthy trees improve property values by improving the appearance of a property. I want to thank the Hamilton’s Shade Tree Commission, Department of Public Works, and the Department of Community & Economic Development for spearheading this initiative, all at no cost to our residents.”

Residents seeking to bring more green into their neighborhood may contact the Division of Planning at (609) 890-3645 or via email at

Attorney General’s Office Releases Findings of Investigation of Police-Involved Shooting at UPS Facility in Logan Township, N.J.

William J. Owens was shot by police after firing a handgun at one of two women he took hostage at the facility on Jan. 14, 2019

After analyzing all of the facts and circumstances, Director Eicher concluded that the use of force by each of the seven officers was justified under the law.  The facts and circumstances reasonably led them to believe their actions were immediately necessary to protect the hostage and others from death or serious bodily harm. 

September 2, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–In compliance with the Attorney General’s Independent Prosecutor Directive on Police-Use-of-Force Investigations, this public statement is being issued on the findings of an investigation into the fatal police-involved shooting that occurred on Jan. 14, 2019 at a United Parcel Service (“UPS”) facility in Logan Township, N.J.  Among other findings, the investigation determined that the civilian who was killed, William J. Owens, was shot by officers after firing a handgun at one of two female employees he took hostage.

Under the Attorney General’s Independent Prosecutor Directive, the use of deadly force by multiple law enforcement officers was investigated by the Attorney General’s Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA).  As a result of the investigation, OPIA Director Thomas J. Eicher determined that presentation of the officer-involved shooting to a grand jury was not required under the directive because the undisputed facts indicate the use of force was justified under the law and the incident occurred before the effective date of the law that requires all police shootings that result in death to be presented to the grand jury.  The investigation included numerous witness interviews, reviewing the available  video footage of events leading to the shooting, but which did not include  the shooting itself, forensic analysis of the scene, and other evidence.

William J. Owens, 39, of Sicklerville, N.J., was shot by seven members of the Gloucester County SWAT Team outside the UPS Mail Innovations facility on Birch Creek Road in Logan Township, Gloucester County.  Law enforcement officers, including members of the SWAT Team, had responded to the facility on reports that a gunman had taken two women hostage. 

The events leading up to the shooting began at approximately 8:30 a.m., when Owens, a former employee at the UPS facility, went to locate a female employee with whom he previously had a relationship (“Hostage 1”).  Owens approached Hostage 1 outside the UPS facility and followed her into the building, armed with a silver 9mm handgun.  Once inside, he grabbed Hostage 1, fired the gun into the air, and announced that he was taking her hostage. Owens then pistol-whipped a male security guard while continuing to hold onto Hostage 1.  He said he was going to kill Hostage 1, and he threatened to “kill everyone in this building.” 

Owens continued to hold Hostage 1 at gunpoint.  A short time later, Owens took a second female employee (“Hostage 2”) hostage at gunpoint.  Owens pointed his gun at various other people, saying he would kill everybody there and didn’t care.  Owens fired at least two additional shots while inside the building, causing employees to flee in terror. 

Police were called, arrived, and created a secure perimeter.  While police tried to negotiate with him by phone, Owens walked the two hostages around inside the building, subjecting them to continuous abuse and torment.  Owens brutally kicked and pistol-whipped Hostage 1 numerous times and terrorized both hostages throughout the lengthy standoff.   He pointed his gun at the heads of both hostages repeatedly.  He also struck Hostage 2.  He continued to make threats, vowing to kill the hostages, police officers, and others.

Police entered the vast facility in an attempt to end the standoff, but were unsuccessful.  When Owens realized police were entering the building, he again threatened the lives of the two hostages as well as police officers.  He stated that the police would have to kill him.  Police negotiated with Owens for several hours in an unsuccessful attempt to get him to release the hostages, put down his gun, and surrender peacefully.  The standoff lasted from approximately 8:30 a.m. until approximately 11:55 a.m., when the hostages were able to escape from Owens.

Hostage 1 – who was bleeding from the savage beatings she endured – ran out of the UPS facility through an employee entrance that opened onto a parking area.  She was closely followed by Owens, who had his gun pointed in her direction.  Owens fired his weapon at her as she ran away toward police officers.  The seven SWAT team officers saw Owens chasing the woman, gun extended.  After Owens fired, all seven officers discharged their weapons, firing numerous rounds at Owens and fatally wounding him.  Emergency medical personnel were already on the scene, but no medical treatment was provided because it was clear that Owens was deceased and life-saving measures would not be effective.  No other person was shot during the incident. 

Of the seven shooting officers, five were armed with .223 rifles and two, with 9mm sub-machine guns.  Owens’ autopsy revealed 29 wounds.  The gun used by Owens was found next to his body and was matched to the following casings and projectiles: one spent shell casing found in the car he drove; three spent shell casings found inside the UPS facility; one spent shell casing found inside the gun that lay next to him; and one projectile found inside the UPS facility.  No camera captured the shooting by police.  However, limited video footage of Owens moving about the interior of the UPS facility was captured by security cameras.

This matter was reviewed by Director Eicher in accordance with the AG’s Independent Prosecutor Directive on Police Use-of-Force Investigations.  After analyzing all of the facts and circumstances, Director Eicher concluded that the use of force by each of the seven officers was justified under the law.  The facts and circumstances reasonably led them to believe their actions were immediately necessary to protect the hostage and others from death or serious bodily harm.  An officer may use deadly force in New Jersey when the officer reasonably believes it is immediately necessary to protect the officer or another person from imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm.

The names of the seven law enforcement officers who fired at Owens are not being released because threats were made against the officers involved under circumstances that indicate releasing their identities could jeopardize their safety.

A law enacted in January 2019 requires that the Attorney General’s Office conduct investigations of a person’s death that occurs during an encounter with a law enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity or while the decedent is in custody.  This deadly force investigation preceded enactment of that law.  It was therefore conducted in accordance with the Independent Prosecutor Directive, issued in 2006 and strengthened in 2015, which establishes strict procedures for conducting such investigations.  The directive provides that unless the undisputed facts indicate the use of force was justified under the law, the circumstances of the incident must be presented to a grand jury, composed of 23 civilians, for its independent review.

The Independent Prosecutor Directive is posted on the Attorney General’s website at the following link: 

Further information about how officer-involved shootings are investigated in New Jersey under the directive is found at this link: 

Browns Mills, NJ Man Identified As Driver Killed In Serious Truck Crash Monday Night In South Brunswick

September 2, 2020

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–The South Brunswick Police Department identified the driver of Monday night’s fatal crash on Corn Road as Edward Snider age 62 of Browns Mills, NJ. The South Brunswick Police Department is still investigating the crash.

See previous MidJersey.News story here: Crash Claims Truck Driver In South Brunswick

On Monday night at 9:17 pm the South Brunswick Police Department received a 911 call reporting the accident on Corn Road. When officers arrived on the lightly traveled industrial road they found a tractor trailer cab entangled with a flatbed tractor. The Monmouth Junction Fire Department responded and began extrication efforts. The truck driver was heavily entrapped and required extensive efforts. A dozen firefighters used cutting tools and other extrication equipment in efforts to free the driver.