Mays Landing man convicted in deadly 2017 shooting
A Mays Landing man was found guilty Friday in a Hamilton Township shooting that killed one man and wounded three others in an apartment complex parking lot. Matthew Gonzalez, 29, was convicted on eight counts in the Sept. 24, 2017, killing of Taufeeq Mitchell that left two men and a woman wounded. He was also convicted of attempted bribery and witness tampering, after he targeted a witness identified in the evidence against him. The incident started as a verbal argument between two men in the Brandywood Apartment Complex, but then turned into a brawl, according to information at his trial. That is when Gonzalez pulled out a gun and fired. Laquine Demby was badly wounded. Mitchell was killed. Glynda Newman and Tyjuan O’Neal also injured by gunfire. The defense offered a witness who claimed the shooter was a teenager.
But during cross examination, Chief Assistant Prosecutor Erik Bergman showed video surveillance from the incident that showed Stokes arriving back home after the police are already there. “Taufeeq Mitchell’s mother was present each day during the trial and I hope this verdict brings her and her family some closure, as well as closure to the other victims in this matter,” Bergman said after the conviction. “’This incident occurred at a neighborhood cookout where there were children present and could have claimed more lives,” Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner said. “This verdict sends a message that drug dealers and killers will not terrorize communities and then intimidate witnesses from testifying against them.” Gonzalez is set to be sentenced April 24.
Texts, recorded phone calls and two witnesses will prove that a Mays Landing man killed one person and wounded three others in a 2017 shooting, a prosecutor told jurors Tuesday.
But the state has no weapon, no forensics and no strong evidence linking Matthew Gonzalez to the shooting, Gonzalez's attorney countered.
Gonzalez, 29, is accused of opening fire during a fight that started between two other men in the parking lot of the Brandywood Apartment Complex in Hamilton Township on Sept. 24, 2017.
Taufeeq Mitchell, 31, of Atlantic City, was killed. Three others were wounded, including a woman who testified Tuesday that "a tall light-skinned person that I didn't know" came out of the woods with a silver gun and shot Laquine Demby and then Mitchell.
Demby was badly injured.The woman was grazed. While there were 15 to 20 people there, only two were willing to give statements, both sides agreed. Chief Assistant Prosecutor Erik Bergman said it illustrated the fear many have of coming forward. Defense attorney Yvonne Maher said it showed the state's case is thin. Read more...