Authorities in New Jersey say a 25-year-old man who was released from prison early because of the COVID-19 pandemic was involved in the fatal shooting of a teenager just two days after he had gained his freedom.
In an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in state prisons last year, several inmates who were scheduled to be released in a matter of months were granted early release.
According to NJ.com, the accused, identified as Jerry D. Crawford, was among inmates who were released by the state Department of Corrections on “public health emergency credits” on November 4. Crawford, who was serving time for burglary, had been out on mandatory parole supervision prior to being implicated in the November 6 murder of 18-year-old Davion Scarbrough. Crawford would have been released from the South Woods State Prison on December 24 if not for the public health emergency plan.
Another suspect, Yusuf Waites, was also charged with murder in connection with the killing of Scarbrough. The 23-year-old is also an ex-convict, and he had been released from prison less than a month before he was implicated in Scarbrough’s killing.
Authorities say Scarbrough’s body was found riddled with bullets at a location not far from the prison Crawford was being held prior to his release. And surveillance footage showed the victim was with Crawford and Waites prior to his killing, court documents stated.
The two suspects have since been charged with first-degree murder and first-degree conspiracy to commit murder. They were indicted last week, NJ.com reported. And besides being charged for Scarbrough’s death, Waites has also been indicted on other charges including attempted murder after he allegedly tried killing two other men.
Those two men and Waites are reportedly part of six other suspects who have also been indicted on a slew of other charges.