ELIZABETH, NJ - Ronald Santiago, Jr., 22, of Elizabeth has been charged by a Union County Grand Jury after they returned with a five-count indictment, charging him with robbing and fatally shooting a man outside a local housing complex on June 4, says acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo.

Authorities said Santiago, Jr. was charged with first-degree murder, first-degree felony murder, first-degree robbery, and two related second-degree weapons offenses in connection with the death of 27-year-old Alphonso James of Elizabeth.

Elizabeth Police units responding to a report of a shooting at the community pool area of the Mravlag Manor housing complex during the early hours of Tuesday, June 4, found James there with his pants pockets turned inside out, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Armando Suarez, who is prosecuting the case. James was pronounced dead a little more than half an hour later, Suarez said. 

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Authorities said a joint investigation by the Union County Homicide Task Force, Elizabeth Police Department, Union County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Unit and Union County Police Department Ballistics Unit quickly resulted in Santiago being identified as a suspect in the case, and he was arrested later on the same morning of the shooting, then transported to the Union County Jail pending proceedings in Superior Court. 

Anyone with information about this matter is still being urged to contact Task Force Sgt. Danika Ramos at 908-451-7739 or Detective Christopher Scuorzo at 908-472-0492.

Convictions on charges of this nature are commonly punishable by terms of 30 years to life in state prison. 

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