Razor wire prison fence
Razor wire prison fence

Today, following a seven week trial, a Hudson County jury convicted two Jersey City men in the 2018 killing of a 17-year-old girl in Bergen-Lafayette.

According to Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez, Alterik Ellis, 29, and Travis DeFoe, 32, were found guilty for their roles in the shooting death of Jade Saunders. 

On October 26, 2018, at approximately 11:35 p.m., the Jersey City Police Department received a report of shots fired in the area of 76 Brinkerhoff Street. When they arrived they found Saunders, unresponsive with a gunshot wound to the upper body. The Regional Medical Examiner’s Office determined the Saunders had died from the gunshot wound and ruled her death a homicide. Three other individuals were injured during the shooting.

Ellis and DeFoe were found guilty of Murder, Conspiracy to Commit Murder, Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose and Theft of Moveable Property.

The verdict was delivered before Judge Angelo Servidio. The State was represented at trial by Hudson County Assistant Prosecutors Kevin Roe and John Burke. 

“The defendants in this case cut short the life of a 17-year-old girl who had her entire future ahead of her,” said Assistant Prosecutor Kevin Roe. “Today’s verdict helps ensure that justice will be served for Ms. Saunders, her family, friends, and loved ones. We thank the court and the jury for their service throughout the course of this case.” 

The area surrounding Brinkerhoff Street has been beset by violence in recent years. On May 21 of last year, two people were killed and four injured in a shooting at the intersection of Crescent Avenue and Brinkerhoff Street.  A man was gunned down two blocks away on Belmont Avenue in January.

Sentencing is tentatively scheduled for October 14, 2022. 

Aaron Morrill

Aaron is a writer, musician and lawyer. Aaron attended Berklee College of Music and the State University of New York at Purchase. Aaron served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador. He received a J.D....