Law & Justice

Arrest Made in Double Murder of Brothers


NEWARK, NJ - Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino and Newark Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose announced today that Zabdiel R. Vargas-Soto, 22, of Newark has been arrested and charged with the two counts of murder for fatally shooting two brothers.

On Sunday Jose Castillo-Granados, 25, and Francisco Castillo-Granados, 22, both of Newark, were fatally shot shortly after 5 a.m. near the intersection of Adams and Walnut streets in the Ironbound section of Newark.

The brothers, who are originally from Honduras, appeared to know the defendant Vargas-Soto, who was arrested late yesterday by detectives from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force, which includes Newark detectives.

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In addition to the murders, Vargas-Soto has been charged with possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and unlawful possession of a weapon.

The Honorable Ashlie Gibbons, Judge of the Municipal Court, authorized warrants for Zabdiel Vargas-Soto’s arrest.

He is currently being held at the Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark.

Vargas-Soto is scheduled to appear in Central Judicial Proceedings court tomorrow. The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office will ask the judge to detain Vargas-Soto.

These are accusations. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they enter a guilty plea or are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The investigation is active and ongoing.


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