- Associated Press - Monday, September 22, 2014

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Essex County prosecutors say the man accused of fatally shooting an off-duty Newark police officer three years ago was trying to shoot a woman who had been involved in a brawl at the suspect’s home.

NJ.com (https://bit.ly/1B262zS) reports that prosecutors disclosed the information during a court hearing Monday for Rasul McNeill-Thomas. The 23-year-old suspect faces murder and related charges in the May 2011 slaying of William Johnson, a 16-year veteran of the force.

Johnson was waiting for a slice of pizza at a city restaurant when he was killed in the drive-by shooting. Two other people were injured in the shooting but have since recovered.

McNeil-Thomas has pleaded not guilty to the charges. He’s currently serving a seven-year state prison sentence on eluding and related charges out of Union County.

Authorities did not say what sparked the brawl that occurred at McNeil-Thomas’ home.

Prosecutors said his mother and stepfather were punched in the face during the altercation, and that he was present when the fight occurred.

“(That brawl) was the reason why this shooting happened the way that it did,” assistant county prosecutor Romesh Sukhdeo said during the hearing.

About 14 hours after the shooting, the girlfriend of McNeil-Thomas’ sister allegedly went to the home of the woman involved in the early brawl and severely beat her while she was sleeping, Sukhdeo said.

___

Information from: NJ.com, https://www.nj.com


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide