TRENTON, NJ - Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri announced on Friday the arrests of two individuals who allegedly murdered brothers Gustavo,16, and Johnny,8, Perez while they stoodin front of a second floor kitchen window of their residence on Mulberry Street in Trenton residence on Tuesday night.
After its investigation, the Mercer County Homicide Task Force (MCHTF) has charged Dajuan Kelley AKA “Bando,” 26, of Ewing, and Destanie Ellis, 29, of Morrisville, Pennsylvania, with two counts each of first-degree murder, one count each of second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, one count each of second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon and one count each of first-degree conspiracy.
Ellis is accused of conspiring with Kelley, who allegedly shot and killed Gustavo and Johnny.
“Law enforcement is always working tirelessly to protect the public and solve crimes, but the work accomplished by the Mercer County Homicide Task Force over the last few weeks has been nothing short of extraordinary,” Onofri said. “To be actively investigating multiple cases, tracking down witnesses and leads, reviewing hours and hours of surveillance footage, obtaining and executing search warrants, all the while responding to new crime scenes as they develop, and be able to make several arrests in multiple cases is an example of unrelenting fortitude and dedication to public safety.
According to the Prosecutor's Office, the shooting occurred around 10:30 p.m. on October 20. Upon arrival, police located Gustavo and Johnny in the kitchen suffering from gunshot wounds. The victims were taken to Capital Health Regional Medical Center where they were pronounced dead a short time later.
During with the MCHTF investigation, officers located eight spent shell casings on the opposite side of Breunig Avenue, approximately 50-feet from Mulberry Street. Detectives reviewed numerous surveillance videos from the area of the homicide and identified two vehicles of interest and two persons of interest.
A blue Chevrolet Malibu was observed making a left turn onto Enterprise Avenue, turn around toward Mulberry Street, and park in a no parking zone with its headlights off as Gustavo Perez and his older brother walked toward Breunig Avenue. Moments later, a black Ford Expedition was observed driving at a slow speed following the brothers on Mulberry Street. The driver of the Ford Expedition was observed to be a black male.
The investigation revealed that Ellis was allegedly the driver of the blue Chevrolet Malibu following Gustavo and his older brother. Kelley was identified as the alleged shooter.
The prosecutor's office claims that, prior to the shooting, Ellis and Kelley were sitting in the Ford Expedition on New York Avenue when the brothers walked past her vehicle and attempted to gain entry. A verbal dispute allegedly ensued between the brothers and Kelley and Ellis.
Ellis left the area in her blue Chevrolet Malibu and allegedly called other individuals to her location as she followed Gustavo and his older brother to their residence. Ellis, Kelley and other individuals arrived on Mulberry Street in separate vehicles. Ellis allegedly pointed out the house where Gustavo and his older brother entered. Then, Kelley allegedly began shooting at the brothers in their home's window.
Ellis was arrested Thursday night in Trenton. Kelley was arrested today in Hampton, Georgia, by the U.S. Marshals Regional Fugitive Task Force. The prosecutor’s office is filing motions to detain both defendants.
Prosecutor Onofri thanked the members of the Mercer County Homicide Task Force, comprised of assistant prosecutors, detectives, officers and agents with the prosecutor’s office, the Trenton police, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office and the New Jersey State Police. In addition, he expressed his gratitude to Mercer County Sheriff Jack Kemler, the Trenton Police Department, the New Jersey State Police and the U.S. Marshals Service for their continued support, shared resources and manpower.
"I could not be more proud and I can only hope that the community continues to recognize their effort, and remain vigilant and involved,” added Onofri.
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