Police & Fire

Police Blotter

Watchung Man Found Guilty in East Orange Murder of Teacher


NEWARK, NJ - Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino announced today that an Essex County jury has convicted Andre Higgs, 45, of Watchung of the murder of Latrena May, 27, a teacher at Pride Academy Charter School in East Orange.

Following a jury trial before the Honorable Ronald Wigler, the Essex County Presiding Criminal Court Judge, yesterday, the jury deliberated for less than two hours before finding Higgs guilty of the May 1, 2015 murder of May who was also the mother of his daughter.

In addition to murder, Higgs was convicted of unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and hindering prosecution. 

Sign Up for E-News

Higgs shot May on the porch of the two-family house where she lived in East Orange after she flagged down a police car to help her. As the Detective exited his marked vehicle and approached, Higgs shot the victim three times.  The Detective then returned fire and struck Higgs in the legs.  After the shooting, Higgs barricaded himself in the house where the couple’s then four-year-old daughter was sleeping. 

Assistant Prosecutor Justin Edwab, who tried the case, said, “Hopefully, the conviction of this defendant will allow the May family to begin the healing process and give them a measure of comfort.’’

Edwab praised the efforts of East Orange Detective Kemon Lee who tried to intervene and prevent this tragedy. At trial, the defense had argued that Lee’s actions caused Higgs to shoot the victim. 

“This detective was a hero that day. He responded to May’s cries for help and tried to save her from Higgs,’’ said Edwab. “This conviction is the direct result of the investigative efforts of the Essex County Prosecutors Office and the East Orange Police Department as well as the courage of non-law enforcement who were willing to come into court and testify about the horrors they witnessed on the evening of May 1, 2015.” 

After the jury returned a verdict of guilty for the murder of Latrena May, Judge Wigler revoked Andre Higgs' bail.  

On Friday, the jury will return to try the second indictment against Andre Higgs for this May 1, 2015 incident. The second indictment charges Higgs with Second Degree Certain Persons not to Have a Weapon and First Degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon.  Once the second trial is complete, the Court will set a sentencing date.  

Higgs faces 30 years to life when he sentenced by Judge Wigler. 

In March of 2015, just a couple weeks before her death, May called 911 when Higgs entered her home, choked her and threw her to the ground in front of her daughter.  As a result of the defense arguing that the May 1, 2015 shooting was an involuntary act on behalf of Higgs, the Court allowed the 911 recording to be entered into evidence to prove Higgs state of mind.  


Higgs has five prior felony convictions.  In 1993, the defendant was sentenced to New Jersey State Prison for four different cases.  The four different cases included convictions for unlawful possession of a gun, second degree aggravated assault, and a drug offense.  The defendant received an aggregate sentence of 10 years in New Jersey State Prison.  In 2003, the defendant was again convicted of unlawful possession of a handgun where he received 226 days in the Essex County Jail plus 18 months probation. 

Editor's Note: This article relies on information provided by law enforcement officials and the subjects are presumed innocent. If notified of changes to the charges or their outcome, TAPinto.net will update this report.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

East Orange/Orange

LT3 Foundation Hosts Second Annual Golf Outing at Galloping Hill

June 18, 2018

EAST ORANGE, NJ - The Lester Taylor III (LT3) Foundation will be sponsoring their Second Annual Golf Outing at the Galloping Hill Golf Club this Thursday June 21, 2018. Registration begins 11:30 AM. For more information call Stephanie at 732-674-4199. 

About LT3

The Lester Taylor III Foundation is a non-profit organization created for the purpose of positively impacting the growth and ...

East Orange Family Success Center Hosts Juneteenth “Family Freedom Day 2018” 

June 18, 2018

EAST ORANGE, NJ – The East Orange Family Success Center will be hosting a Juneteenth “Family Freedom Day” at the Ambrose Mansion 182 South Harrison St., East Orange this Saturday, June 23rd 12:00 - 5:00 PM.

Juneteenth is a celebration of African-American history and heritage. This American holiday commemorates the June 19, 1865 announcement of the abolition of ...

Gen Z Music Consumption — a Marketing Gold Mine?

In the last article, we discussed the many things that Gen Z do on their smartphones. The main one is listening to music. 

This time, we want to look at their music consumption in more detail to see what marketing doors their patterns can open.

How Often Do They Listen to Music?

In a recent survey, 84% of Gen Z report listening to music every day on their smartphone, as compared ...

What Gen Zs Do on Their Mobile Phones

Last time, we offered a definition of Gen Z and discussed a few of the main ways they are different from Millennials. Knowing these differences can help you market to them more successfully, getting an early start on a group that has not been marketed to heavily as compared with Baby Boomers or Millennials.

In this article, we want to look more closely at what Gen Z do on their ...

Introducing Generation Z

Hi, and welcome to your article series on marketing to Generation Z (Gen Z). We hope you get a lot out of it. 

Gen Z means different things to different people, but in general, we can define it as 18- to 24-year-olds. Gen Z is different from Millennials (Generation Y) in a number of key ways. Taking these difference into account can help you ensure your marketing messages reach their ...

Upcoming Events


Sun, June 24, 11:00 AM


MakerFest 2018


Sun, July 8, 2:00 PM

Suzy Que's BBQ & Bar , West Orange

Arts For Kids 4th Annual "Not Just Jazz & BBQ ...

Arts & Entertainment

SPECIAL BUSINESS HEALTH EDITION: Eating Issues Can Arise from Periods of Great Stress

June 11, 2018

Eating issues may impact your psychological and physiological well-being and can be caused by too much stress in your life. Eating disorders may include bulimia nervosa, binge-eating and anorexia nervosa – and any one of these can cause other severe health problems.

Other health issues caused by eating disorders may include digestive problems, cardiovascular issues, teeth and mouth ...