Somers Point man convicted of murder in Walk shooting
Updated: May 8
A Somers Point man was convicted on all counts in a deadly shooting at Atlantic City’s Walk. Luis Maisonet, 56,was found guilty of murder and weapons offenses in the Sept. 1,2016,killing of Christopher Romero. A killing inside an Atlantic City outlet store was the result of a man who couldn’t take rejection, Atlantic County First Assistant Prosecutor Cary Shill told jurors during closings Thursday. Jennifer Villanueva had moved out of the apartment she and Maisonet shared, and made it clear their 13-relationship was over. But even though the woman was starting a new life — and expecting a child — with someone else, Maisonet didn’t get the message, Shill said. Instead, Maisonet gunned down 26-year-old father-to-be, Romero, on Sept. 1, 2016, inside the Zumiez store where the victim was a manager. He then walked across the road to White House |Black Market where Villanueva worked, shot at her and then turned the gun on himself, according to her testimony. Villanueva was not hit. “This murder was about ego. It was about pride. It was about control,” Shill said. “Not every action we take is taken purposely or knowingly,” defense attorney Katherine Weigel said during her closing, using the words that make up a murder charge.
Before she was able to address the jurors, Weigel tried to have Superior Court Judge Donna Taylor allow the explanation of passion provocation. Taylor, however, saw no opening for such a charge. Passion provocation is a killing that takes place in the heat of the moment. But Maisonet had known about his ex-gilfriend’s new relationship, and the impending birth, for a while before the killing. Taylor also denied Weigel’s attempt to let the jury know about an involuntary commitment for mental treatment Maisonet was given two weeks after the killing. Jurors returned the verdict at about 6 p.m. Thursday. Sentencing is set for Feb. 23.