NEWARK N.J. (Reuters) - Two more suspects were charged in the killing of a 12-year-old New Jersey girl who was struck in the head by a stray bullet as she rode her scooter to a family gathering, authorities said on Friday.
Jeffery Ellerbee, 21, and Marshae Anthony, 19, both of Paterson, New Jersey, were charged in connection with the killing of Genesis Rincon, the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office said.
Ellerbee was charged with first-degree murder and two counts of illegal weapons possession, while Anthony was charged only with the two weapons crimes. Prosecutors recommended bail be set at $2 million for Ellerbee and $75,000 for Anthony.
The new arrests come just days after 19-year-old Jhymiere Moore was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting. Moore pleaded not guilty during a court appearance on Friday, his attorney, Harley Breite said.
“My client has nothing to do with the tragic murder of the young girl and he turned himself in so he could face the charges head on and not appear as though he was running from them,” Breite said.
Authorities did not believe Rincon was the intended target of the shooting, which took place on Saturday night on Rosa Parks Boulevard in Paterson, where Rincon was riding her scooter with friends on her way to a nearby family gathering.
Even though Rincon was not apparently targeted, New Jersey state law allows prosecutors to charge suspects with first-degree murder if they kill a person while shooting deliberately at someone else.
Rincon was pronounced dead on Sunday morning but kept on life support until late on Monday so her organs could be donated, prosecutors said.
Her death prompted outrage in the violence-plagued community, leading hundreds of residents to march on City Hall earlier this week to demand authorities crack down on street violence, according to NJ.com.
Prosecutors said the investigation was continuing.
Reporting by David Jones; Additional reporting by Curtis Skinner in New York; Editing by Sandra Maler