4 Trenton Men Accused in 2011 Slaying of U.S. Army Veteran From Liberia Reject Plea Deal, Face Trial in Trenton, NJ
April 1, 2015
TRENTON — Four Trenton men accused in the 2011 slaying of a U.S. Army veteran from Liberia rejected final plea deals from prosecutors Tuesday and will face trial early next year.
Dardar Paye, 33, a Liberian immigrant living in Maplewood, was kidnapped, robbed and shot to death in a Monmouth Street basement, prosecutors said. His body was found in the trunk of a car following a police chase on Jan. 16, 2011.
William Brown 30, Mack W. Edwards, 29, Danuweli Keller, 27, and Abdutawab Kiazolu, 26, rejected plea deals that would have called for 30-year prison sentences.
Under the terms of the proposed plea, Keller, Sullivan and Edwards would also have to plead guilty to the October 2010 carjacking and kidnapping of Alfonso Slaughter. Slaughter, like Paye, was taken to a Monmouth Street basement and robbed, but managed to escape, prosecutors said.
A fifth defendant, Phobus E. Sullivan, 31, did not appear but is expected to tell a Superior Court Judge next month whether he will accept or reject an identical plea deal from prosecutors.
Sullivan is already serving a 20-year prison term for the December 2010 slaying of Andrew Leonard, who was wounded in the chest as he was parked in his car. Leonard then sped off in his vehicle, which went airborne after hitting a tree stump. The car then hit a utility pole and flipped over, landing on its roof.
Brown, who will be tried separately because of statements he gave to police implicating himself and his co-defendants, was found guilty along with another city man in February of the September 2008 slaying of Tracy Lamont Crews. He is scheduled to be sentenced next month.
A witness who was with the defendants at the time of Paye's shooting place all of them at the scene and identified Keller as the shooter, prosecutors have said.
All five men remain held in lieu of bail.
Source: By James McEvoy | Times of Trenton - NJ.Com True Jersey