NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - While working in her role as a reporter covering the courts in New Brunswick, a female journalist from NJ Advance Media, a media group represented locally by nj.com and The Star Ledger, was assaulted by another woman following the trial of Tejay Johnson. A three-year member of the Rutgers University football team, Johnson was one of three former Rutgers students convicted this week of perpetrating home invasions in New Brunswick and on two campuses of the university.
Trudy Smith, 23, of Philadelphia, PA was arrested and charged on Friday, August 3, 2018 with simple assault following the attack of a media reporter which took place inside a courtroom in Middlesex County Superior Court, during the sentencing of Tejay Johnson, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey announced today. Johnson was sentenced to twelve years in prison for armed robbery and other counts. Subject to the No Early Release Act, Johnson must serve 85% -more than ten years - of his sentence before applying for parole.
When the defendant was being led out of the courtroom in handcuffs, the NJ Advance Media reporter stood to take pictures for the story she was assigned to cover. Smith, who was sitting behind her, stood, struck the reporter and began to pull her hair.
Middlesex County Sheriff Officers intervened and separated the parties. Smith was removed from the courtroom and arrested on a summons.
Smith is due in New Brunswick Municipal Court on August 20, 2018.
As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charge against Smith is merely an accusation and she is presumed innocent until proven guilty.