NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The pastor of a former Rutgers football player charged with threatening to kill two people described the young athlete as a hard worker and a leader in the church community.
"He is respectful and a role model," Dr. Derrick Dumas said of Izaia Bullock, the former university football player accused of plotting to kill two relatives of an acquaintance.
"I've really come to admire his (Bullock's) work ethic," said Dumas, who is pastor the First Baptist Church of Linden, where Bullock has been a member for eight years. "If anyone wants to draw conclusions about (Bullock), I would encourage them to speak to people who know him personally," the pastor said.
Dumas' comments came after Bullock appeared in court for a detention hearing. Defense attorney Steven Altman, who along with his son Joshua Altman is representing Bullock, requested more time to review the latest charge filed against his client, accusing him of cyber harassment.
Bullock, 22, who was a walk-on linebacker for the Rutgers football team, was arrested Tuesday and charged with two counts each of first-degree attempted murder and first-degree conspiracy to commit murder. Rutgers said Bullock was dismissed from the team following the arrest.
On Thursday, prosecutors filed the additional charge of cyber harassment.
Altman said he needed time to discuss the charge with Bullock, but explained that he wanted to work quickly on the case.
"I'm trying to do as much as I can to get Mr. Bullock out (of jail)," Altman told Superior Court Judge Michael Toto.
Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Megan Kosovich told the judge that she is seeking to have Bullock kept in the Middlesex County Adult Correction in North Brunswick on both the attempted murder and the harassment allegations. Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey attended the hearing but left immediately after it ended.
Toto said the harassment charge stemmed from an incident that occurred before the alleged threats to kill two people.
The judge adjourned the case to Wednesday.
Dumas was at the court hearing, accompanying a dozen relatives and friends of Bullock's, including his mother and father.
The family declined requests for comments after the hearing.
According to a criminal complaint, Bullock told a witness about his plans to murder two relatives of a friend, and attempted to recruit the witness as a getaway driver.
The witness recorded the conversation, and that recording was given to Rutgers police, according to the affidavit, which states that Bullock resides in South River.
The document says police searched Bullock's car and found gloves, crushed Tylenol and a mask. Bullock also gave a recorded interview to Rutgers police in which he admitted the murder plot, affidavit states.
Authorities have not released details about who was the target of the cyber harassment, or when it occurred.