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Paterson NJ Men Arrested for Fatal Shootings, Attempt to Silence Witness

Paterson Homicide 2.jpgAccording to authorities, a Paterson NJ teenager who witnessed a fatal shooting at a block party was murdered a few hours later.

Paterson police believe that 17-year-old Derrick Fitts was murdered by two (2) men who feared that he would share information with police about the earlier shooting. Mr. Fitts reportedly saw the two (2) assailants shoot and kill 17-year-old Jaquell Johnson as he participated in a basketball game before midnight.

21-year-old Kwanique Williams and 20-year-old Mark Staggers were arrested for the murders. According to police, Mr. Williams and Mr. Staggers fired at the basketball court and hit Mr. Johnson. Police believe that they were aiming at someone else.

In New Jersey, homicide is governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3. The statute classifies homicide as a first degree felony. If Mr. Williams and Mr. Staggers are convicted of first degree felony murder, they could be sentenced to life terms in state prison, with minimum terms of imprisonment of 30 years.

Mr. Fitts was gunned down during National Night Out, an anti-crime initiative featuring rallies and block parties.

For more information, see the NJ.com article entitled "New Details Released in Paterson Double Homicide."

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