NJ Man Gets 94 Years For 2 Gang Slayings
ELIZABETH, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey man convicted in the shooting deaths of a young boy and a man who were mistaken for gang members has received a lengthy prison term.
Edariel “Riddick” Melendez, who Union County prosecutors said was a member of the Crips street gang, received a 94-year term on Friday. He had to serve 85-percent — about 80 years — before becoming eligible for parole.
The 22-year-old Elizabeth resident was convicted in June of murder, conspiracy and weapons offenses for his roles in the November 2007 shootings in Elizabeth.
Prosecutors said 13-year-old Elijah Henderson was killed while riding a bicycle, and a friend with him was wounded. Two days later, 54-year-old Celso Pedra was gunned down.
Authorities said Melendez and another man were seeking retaliation against rival gang members for the murder of another Crips member.
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