Ewing charged with aggravated manslaughter
An investigation by the Mercer County Homicide Task Force and Trenton Police has led to the arrest of an Ewing man for manslaughter, Mercer County District Attorney Angelo J. Onofri reported. .
Justin Wilkes, 21, was arrested and charged Tuesday night with first degree manslaughter and third degree endangerment of an injured victim. The prosecution filed a request for pre-trial detention.
The victim of the crime, who remains unidentified, was allegedly beaten unconscious in the middle of a street in Trenton by Wilkes, left there and then run over by a motorist, the prosecutor’s office said.
The following information is based on a report released by the Mercer County District Attorney’s Office.
At approximately 11:10 p.m. on Saturday, May 29, Trenton Police officers were dispatched to the South Clinton and Roebling Avenue area over a report of a pedestrian struck. En route, the Trenton Police dispatcher indicated that appellants heard two gunshots.
Upon arrival, officers located the victim, an unidentified Hispanic man, lying in the street. He was bleeding from his head and had visible tire marks on his chest. Trenton Emergency Services arrived at the scene and attempted to provide assistance, but the victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
Based on the information received, the Homicide Working Group was informed and responded. A first canvas of the scene did not produce evidence of a shooting.
Detectives received reports from witnesses that the victim was seen walking on the pavement and then seen falling to the ground as a white Honda Civic hit him and headed for Beatty Street .
Investigators were able to locate the vehicle and identify the driver as Elber Yuman, 24, of Princeton Junction. On Sunday, May 30, Yuman was charged with knowingly leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death.
A preliminary examination of the victim’s body by the medical examiner’s office suggested that the victim had been run over and had significant injuries on the left side of his face, but there was no indication that he was shot.
Video surveillance of the area has been reviewed and witnesses have been interviewed as part of the ongoing investigation.
Detectives established that an individual, identified as Wilkes, ran towards the victim at around 11 p.m. and punched him in the head. Wilkes then reportedly continued to assault the victim as he attempted to escape, stomping and kicking him after he fell to the ground in the middle of South Clinton Avenue.
Authorities said Wilkes fled the area by vehicle while the victim was still lying on the road, beaten until she passed out. Shortly thereafter, the white Honda Civic driven by Yuman crossed Roebling Avenue as it drove down South Clinton Avenue, knocking the victim down. Yuman continued to drive towards Beatty Street without stopping.
The victim remains unidentified. Anyone with information is asked to call HTF Det. Marc Masseroni at (609) 989-6406. Information can also be emailed to [email protected]