NEWARK, N.J. — A fugitive wanted for two murders in Washington state fled to New Jersey where he allegedly teamed up with two acquaintances and shot to death a 19-year-old college student who was stopped at a red light, authorities said Monday as they announced arrests in that killing as well as that of another college-bound teen four days later.
Brendan Tevlin, 19, and 17-year-old Cheyanne Bond were shot to death during unrelated robberies, Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray said.
Ali Muhammad Brown, 29, of Seattle, and two West Orange men, 19-year-old Jeremy Villagran and Eric Williams, 18, are charged in the death of Tevlin on the night of June 25. Tevlin, a University of Richmond sophomore was driving through West Orange on his way home to Livingston when the three men, following him in another car, jumped out and surrounded him, according to Murray.
Brown shot Tevlin through the passenger-side window, hitting him 10 times, Murray said. Tevlin’s car was then driven to an apartment complex in West Orange with Tevlin inside, and some of his personal belongings were stolen.
Brown was wanted by police in Seattle in the shooting deaths of two young men shortly after they left a gay nightclub on June 1. He also was wanted on warrants for failure to register as a sex offender, according to newspaper reports.
Murray said U.S. marshals and New Jersey state police picked up Brown’s trail after an alleged robbery and attempted carjacking in Point Pleasant on June 29, four days after Tevlin was killed. The prosecutor’s office disseminated a photo of Brown to news media three weeks ago. Authorities believe Brown had previous ties to New Jersey and to his alleged accomplices.
Murray said Monday that results of ballistics tests from the Tevlin shooting were put into a national database and matched with the gun that was used in the Seattle murders.
Brown was found hiding in the woods in West Orange on July 18. He was charged with murder, felony murder, robbery, conspiracy and weapons offenses. Villagran and Williams face felony murder, robbery, conspiracy and weapons charges. His bail was set at $5 million; Villagran and Williams were held on $1 million bail.
Bond, a high school cheerleader from Irvington who had recently graduated, was walking with a male friend in west Newark, about a block from West Side Park, on June 29 when they were approached by two assailants who stole an iPhone and shot both, Murray said. The unidentified friend survived.
Andre Fields, 31, of Irvington, is charged with murder, felony murder, robbery, conspiracy and weapons offenses in those shootings. His bail was set at $1 million. The second suspect is at large.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether any of the suspects being held had lawyers. They were scheduled to make initial court appearances this week.