NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. - Surveillance video unveiled in Superior Court on Tuesday shows two city men punching and kicking a 61-year-old homeless man who later died of the injuries sustained during the March 31 attack.
Joshua Robinson, 28, and James Lyles, 32, are charged with first-degree murder and second degree aggravated assault in the beating death of Robert Reilly at the corner of George and Paterson streets near a 7-Eleven.
Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Bina Desai said a late-night verbal argument turned physical.
Desai spoke as the video played at Robinson's detention hearing. According to an audio recording of the hearing obtained by TAPinto New Brunswick, Desai said Lyles threw the first punch, then Robinson threw a punch that sent Reilly falling backward.
Desai said Reilly hit his head on the street - just a few blocks from the Tuesday's proceedings in Superior Court Judge Alberto Rivas' courtroom.
Desai said that Lyle, while running away, stomped on Reilly's head.
"Officers arrived and found Robert Reilly breathing and unresponsive, with significant trauma to the back of his head and bleeding to the back of his head," Desai said. Reilly later died
The Criminal Justice Reform Act did away with the cash bail system when it was implemented in January 2017. Detention hearings, such as the one held Tuesday, are set for judges to determine if those charged can be released, released to home confinement, detained or some other accommodation.
When it came time for Rivas to hear arguments as to whether Robinson should be released, Desai later took umbrage with the defense attorney's depiction of Robinson as a family man who cares for his mom since his dad suffered a stroke and cares for his children. Robinson's sister Taykeisha Lilly, told TAPinto New Brunswick that Robinson's fourth son was born the night before the incident and that he had been over to visit Lilly and Lyles to celebrate Baby Brian's birth.
"And although this does not directly address the issues as they pertain to detention, I do feel myself compelled to deal with it because of the argument that he’s a family man and that his family will do anything for him," she said.
"The way that the individuals are identified on the video is we were able to catch video cameras as they continued around the corner and the co-defendant went and got his baby that was sitting in a child’s seat in a stairwell in an apartment building by himself. So, none of these people can be said to be family people when they are out engaged on the street, killing a man, while there’s a child left alone in a stairwell somewhere," Desai said.
Rivas ordered Robinson to be retained.
Lyles, who had his detention hearing last week, was also ordered to be retained.