Day: February 16, 2022

Amazon’s Black Employee Network Donates $10K and Commits to Help Restore Historic Locust Hill Cemetery in Trenton

February 16, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Amazon employees representing the company’s Black Employee Network from two facilities in Florence and West Deptford are providing a helping hand to the Locust Hill Cemetery project in Trenton.

As part of a partnership announcement, Amazon’s Black Employee Network donated $10,000 and committed to helping restoration efforts of the historic Locust Hill Cemetery and the completion of a Black history museum on Hart Avenue in Trenton.

“We’re going to use this as the centerpiece and expand out to improve the housing on the street, the  landscape, the artscape of the street, the lighting, and the parking,” said Algernon Ward, Jr. Ward is the president of the 6th Regiment United States Colored Troops reenactors which are leading the charge to restore the Locust Hill Cemetery and Hart Avenue. 

The Locust Hill Cemetery is Trenton’s oldest and largest segregated cemetery. Algernon believes that more than 200 people are buried at the site, including Black veterans of the Civil War.

The initial outreach from Amazon’s Black Employee Network to Ward came from DJ Weltch, an area manager at Amazon’s Florence facility and Dr. Shirley Gaines, an Amazon frontline employee. Both Weltch and Gaines have ties to Trenton and are leading efforts to grow Amazon’s involvement in New Jersey.

“When this Locust Hill project was brought to my attention, I was excited. Came out, did a tour, and I was really excited not only about what I saw, but what I heard. Because like many others, I wasn’t even aware of this cemetery for our Black military,” said Dr. Gaines.

Dr. Gaines added “so as a result of working for a company that is always giving back to the community and has a great deal of community involvement…I am so honored and appreciative for what Amazon does for communities.”

“Regularly we talk about how we make an impact. I did not know about this location,” Weltch said. “I was born in this city, lived in this city, worked in this city as a social worker, graduated college in this city. And had no idea that we had this cemetery here for 10 Civil War veterans and another 190 that aren’t recognized yet because the location has fallen into disrepair…Once I heard about it I jumped on it immediately.”

Trenton civic leaders including Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora, Trenton Housing and Economic Development Director Andre Daniels, and Bishop Sidney Gaines were all in attendance for this announcement event. 

Gusciora lauded Ward for leading the restoration of Locust Hill Cemetery and detailed the importance of his work.

“This will be part of the African American History Trail, along with the Carver Center and the Higbee School and all the other great things that happened in the City of Trenton. This is really for the next generation. We couldn’t do it without the great partners we have with Amazon, the East Trenton Collaborative, Andre Daniels from our Housing and Economic Development and all the Trentonians that have come out and really support this effort.”  

Ward estimates that the restoration work and the museum will cost anywhere from between $350,000 and $840,000.

Ward concluded the event by stating, “this is the beginning, we are rolling!”

To learn more about the Locust Hill Cemetery Project and Museum, you can visit:

AG’s Office Investigating Fatal Officer-Involved Shooting in Plainsboro, N.J.

February 16, 2022

Plainsboro, NJ (MIDDLESEX) – The Attorney General’s Office is conducting an investigation of an officer-involved shooting that occurred today in Plainsboro, N.J. One male civilian sustained fatal injuries. His identity is not being released at this time. No one else was injured.

According to the preliminary investigation, the shooting occurred shortly after 11:30 a.m. on Ravens Crest Drive in Plainsboro, N.J. Law enforcement officers, including members of the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office, were outside a residence when they encountered the decedent. During the encounter, one officer discharged his service weapon, fatally wounding the man. A knife was recovered near the man. Officers and emergency medical personnel rendered first aid to the individual, who was transported to Princeton Hospital, where he was pronounced deceased at 12:10 p.m.

This investigation is being conducted pursuant to Attorney General Directive 2019-4, which implements the statutory requirement that the Attorney General’s Office conduct the investigation of any 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, and which establishes clear standards and procedures for conducting such investigations.

The investigation is ongoing and no further information is being released at this time.

Trenton Woman Charged in Fatal Stabbing of Boyfriend

February 16, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported today that an investigation by the Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the Trenton Police Department has led to the arrest of a Trenton woman for fatally stabbing her on-again/off-again boyfriend.

Tahira Young, 38, is charged with murder and weapons offenses.  She was detained at the scene of the stabbing.  The prosecutor’s office has filed a motion to detain Young pending trial.

At approximately 2:20 a.m. on Tuesday, February 15, 2022, Trenton police were dispatched to an apartment in the 200 block of East Hanover Street on the report of a male stabbed.  Officers arrived on scene and located the victim, identified as Antwone Barnes, 37, of Trenton, with a stab wound to the chest.  He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Trenton, NJ, Fugitive Arrested in New Hampshire Wanted for Aggravated Sexual Assaults and Endangering the Welfare of a Child

“Kedin Mejia-Ayala, 33 years-of-age, was last known to reside in Trenton, NJ was being sought on an arrest warrant issued by the Trenton Municipal Court in Mercer County. This warrant alleges that Mejia-Ayala committed the offenses of sexual assault on a victim under the age of 13, aggravated sexual assault on a victim between the ages of 13 and 16 years of age, and endangering the welfare of a child.

CONCORD, New Hampshire – The United States Marshals Service is very pleased to announce the arrest of Mercer County, New Jersey fugitive, Kedin Mejia-Ayala.  

Kedin Mejia-Ayala, 33 years-of-age, was last known to reside in Trenton, NJ was being sought on an arrest warrant issued by the Trenton Municipal Court in Mercer County. This warrant alleges that Mejia-Ayala committed the offenses of sexual assault on a victim under the age of 13, aggravated sexual assault on a victim between the ages of 13 and 16 years of age, and endangering the welfare of a child.

This arrest warrant was issued on April 16, 2021, and the case was referred to the US Marshals, New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force shortly after.  Through an intensive investigation by the US Marshals Fugitive Task Force, information was recently developed pointing investigators to the North Conway area of New Hampshire. 

Today, members of the US Marshals, NH Joint Fugitive Task Force with the assistance of the NH State Police and the Tamworth Police Department were able to locate and arrest Mejia-Ayala at a residential work site on Chocorua Road in Tamworth, NH. Although, Mejia-Ayala initially attempted to flee and provided a false name of “Alejandro” to investigators, once detained, he did state that he was Kedin Mejia-Ayala.  Mr. Mejia-Ayala was transported by the NH State Police to the Carroll County Jail in Ossipee to be held as a fugitive from justice based on the outstanding Mercer County, NJ warrant. 

Mr. Mejia-Ayala will have his initial court appearance in Ossipee District Court in the coming days and will be held without bail pending his return to New Jersey to face these very serious charges.

United States Marshal, Nick Willard said, “I am extremely proud of the work that all of the investigators did on this case.” Willard continued, “Offenses against our youth will not be tolerated and we will always prioritize taking people like Mr. Mejia-Ayala off the street so they can have their day in court.”

Since the inception of the U.S. Marshals – New Hampshire Joint Fugitive Task Force in 2002, these partnerships have resulted in over 8,542 arrests (Updated as of 12/31/2021). These arrests have ranged in seriousness from murder, assault, unregistered sex offenders, probation and parole violations and numerous other serious offenses. Nationally the United States Marshals Service fugitive programs are carried out with local law enforcement in 94 district offices, 85 local fugitive task forces, 8 regional task forces, as well as a growing network of offices in foreign countries.

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at

Minibike Driver from Trenton, Ran Over and Killed on Route 1 in West Windsor Last Night; Was Operating Bike with No Lights

February 16, 2022

WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)—Police say that last night at 10:15 p.m., West Windsor Police received a 9-1-1 call for a motor vehicle collision on U.S. Route 1 South near the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant.

A driver from Trenton was operating a mini motorized bike in the center lane of U.S. Route 1 South and was struck by a Ford operated by a resident of North Brunswick. The impact threw the 40-year-old female off her bike onto Route 1. The driver of the Ford immediately pulled his vehicle onto the shoulder and exited his vehicle to aid the minibike driver who was in the roadway. However, traffic was heavy and numerous vehicles struck the female as well as her motorbike in the roadway. One of the vehicles that struck her, a BMW operated by a Trenton resident, pulled over and awaited police officers’ arrival.

The driver of the minibike was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:00 p.m. by Dr. Samson of Capital Health Regional Medical Center. The minibike the female was operating did not have any lights and she was dressed in dark clothing.

US Route 1 south was closed for approximately 4 hours. NJ Dot assisted with road closures and detours in the area. Any witnesses to this collision can contact Traffic Officer Brown or Traffic Sgt. Loretucci of the West Windsor Police Dept. 609-799-1222, our Anonymous Tipline at (609) 799-0452, or

Responding agencies were, West Windsor Police Department, West Windsor Fire & Emergency Services, Princeton Junction Fire Company Station 44, Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Serious Collision Response Team (SCRT), Middlesex County Medical Examiner, Capital Health Paramedics and NJ Department of Transportation.