NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A double-murder suspect from Washington state and two teenagers have been charged in the fatal shooting of a college student in West Orange.
Essex County prosecutors announced Monday that 29-year-old Ali Muhammad Brown, of Seattle, and two West Orange men — 19-year-old Jeremy Villagran and 18-year-old Eric Williams — were charged in the death of 19-year-old Brendan Tevlin, CBS 2’s Matt Kozar reported.
The Livingston resident, who had just completed his first year at the University of Richmond, was found in his family’s Jeep parked at a West Orange apartment building.
According to investigators, Tevlin was sitting at a traffic light on his way home from visiting a friend when he was surrounded by strangers who robbed and killed him.
Brown pulled the trigger, prosecutors said. Villagran and Williams acted as his accomplices, authorities said.
“They surrounded (the Jeep) on foot,” said Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray. “One individual interacted briefly with Brendan Tevlin and then, from the passenger side of that vehicle, shot at him 10 times, striking him eight times.”
Investigators say Brown then drove Tevlin’s vehicle to an apartment complex on Northfield Avenue, where he stole undisclosed items from the victim.
U.S. marshals were on the hunt for Brown, a registered sex offender and suspect in two Seattle homicides, and knew he was staying somewhere in New Jersey. He was arrested in the woods in West Orange, where he was living, authorities said.
Brown had a gun that matched the one used in Tevlin’s killing, prosecutors said.
All three suspects face murder, robbery and weapons charges.
Brown is also a suspect in a carjacking in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, 1010 WINS’ Gary Baumgarten reported.
Police had said Tevlin was targeted, but, as WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reported, his mother, Allison Tevlin, said Monday: “That is entirely untrue. Brendan was the innocent victim of a random, senseless murder.”
Allison Tevlin also said gun violence in the United States has reached epidemic proportions.
“We want other families and communities to be spared the tragic loss and sorrow we will always feel.”
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