NEWARK, NEW JERSEY — The 14-year-old boy shot and killed in a Terrell Homes at Riverview Court courtyard Wednesday night had 30 bricks of heroin and a loaded handgun in his bedroom, according to law enforcement sources and police documents.
The victim, identified as Ali Rajohn Eric Henderson, had several prior arrests for drug possession and robbery, according to police documents and law enforcement officials familiar with the investigation who declined to be identified because they are not yet authorized to speak about the investigation.
His last contact with police was on Aug. 15, when he was arrested for possession of crack cocaine, according to the document, and he was also arrested on West Kinney Street in April for assaulting another high school student.
The shooting took place at 9 p.m. and was in the first courtyard at Riverview Terrace, authorities said. The boy was found lying on a sidewalk suffering from apparent gunshot wounds.
He was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later, said Thomas Fennelly, chief prosecutor in the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.
Following the shooting, detectives from the prosecutor’s homicide task force searched the boy’s room and found 30 bricks of heroin, a loaded 9mm Smith & Wesson handgun and a box of .357 ammunition, the document said.
This morning, the victim’s mother, Jennie Henderson, came out and stood in front of the memorial for few minutes eating ice cream and reading the messages written to her son.
She was soon surrounded by a group of teen-aged boys, some of whom sobbed.
“I just want them to find who killed them,” she said this morning. “He was just a baby.”
Latoya Napier, who grew up in the neighborhood, said violence happens there frequently, but “it’s normally the middle courtyard,” Napier said.
Neighbors said the victim had planned to start the new school year at East Side High School today.
“A 14-year-old child being killed — that says it all,” said a woman who asked not be named.
One woman said she heard the shots, ran into the courtyard and saw the teenager struggling to breathe with a wound to his chest.
A makeshift memorial has grown over the course of the morning at the spot where neighbors said the teenager was killed to include candles, teddy bears, balloons and a T-shirt people are signing saying “Rest easy, “Slim.”
Cincinnati’s teenage drug lord gets at least 6 months behind bars
An Ohio teenager considered by authorities to be one of the most prolific drug dealers in the Cincinnati area was sentenced Monday to six months to three years in a juvenile prison.
The judge who handed down the sentence told 18-year-old Tyler Pagenstecher he was “a pretty fine young person that went down a bad trail.”
Pagenstecher, of Mason, Ohio, was taken into custody immediately after the hearing and will be turned over to Ohio’s Department of Youth Services.
The agency will ultimately decide how long Pagenstecher spends in prison, depending on his behavior.
“He’s not going home today,” Judge Thomas Lipps said, explaining that the charges against Pagenstecher were too serious for him to avoid prison time.
Lipps read his sentence after Pagenstecher stood up in court and apologized for what he did, saying that he didn’t realize the severity of his actions.
“I understood that I would get in trouble but not to the level or extent this has become, and I sincerely regret all of this,” said the pale, bespectacled, soft-spoken teen. “If I could take it all back, I would.”
Authorities accused Pagenstecher, who turned 18 earlier this month, of playing a major role in a drug ring that sold as much as $20,000 worth of high-grade marijuana a month to fellow students in and around his well-to-do suburb.
Authorities believe Pagenstecher began selling drugs when he was 15 and managed to stay under authorities’ radar by not selling pot at school, but largely out of his home — a two-story, white-brick house on a spacious corner lot where he lived with his single mother and older brother.
Investigators said they found no evidence that Daffney Pagenstecher, a 50-year-old school bus driver, knew what her son was up to.
Daffney Pagenstecher, who dabbed her eyes during the sentencing, and defense attorney Mike O’Neill both declined to comment after the hearing Monday.
During the hearing, O’Neill minimized Pagenstecher’s actions and pointed out that he had no weapons or wasn’t involved in any violence.
“We have a high school child here who was using a lot of marijuana and was selling marijuana to his friends,” O’Neill said, adding that intense media coverage of the case will affect him for the rest of his life.
He added that Pagenstecher completed an “intensive” drug abuse program, is sorry for his actions, cooperated with authorities and didn’t have a serious criminal history.
Pagenstecher also has a job at an Italian restaurant, the owners of which wrote to the judge and told them how reliable and hard-working the teen is.
“This is a kid with some potential,” O’Neill said. “He can go on and do something with his life.”
Authorities said Pagenstecher took orders from adults who led the drug ring, but was in charge of six teenage lieutenants who helped sell the pot.
Seven adults, ages 20 to 58, were also arrested and accused of growing the pot under artificial lights in a furniture warehouse and two suburban homes.
Four of the adults have pleaded not guilty to charges of drug trafficking and possession, marijuana cultivation and engaging in corrupt activity, and are set for trial in November and December.
Three of the adults agreed to plead guilty to some of the charges in order to get other charges dropped. One of them, 31-year-old Stacy Lampe, was sentenced to two years in prison.
The other two are set to be sentenced by the end of the year and also face years in prison.
As part of its investigation of the drug ring, the Warren County Drug Task Force seized more than 600 marijuana plants with an estimated street value of $3 million, or $5,000 a pound.
Investigators also found $6,000 in cash in Pagenstecher’s bedroom.
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