Four charged with killing man who was walking home from work

IRVINGTON, NJ — Four people have been charged with the murder of Samuel V. Gbotoe, a 62-year-old airport worker who was violently assaulted in Irvington on his way home from work, according to a Dec. 17 press release from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.

On March 13, at approximately 7:11 a.m., Irvington police responded to the area of Isabella Avenue and University Place on a report of an assault in progress. Upon arrival, they discovered Gbotoe lying on the ground suffering from head trauma. 

He was transported to Rutgers University Hospital where he was treated. On May 21, he was taken to Beth Abraham Rehabilitation Center in Bronx, New York, where he continued to receive rehabilitative services. On June 7, he was transported to Jacobi Hospital in the Bronx, where he was pronounced dead on June 8, at approximately 10:17 a.m. On Oct. 8, the autopsy report from the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office determined the manner of death was homicide and the cause of death was complications from blunt force trauma to the neck.

Surveillance video of the assault showed a large group, including males and females, chasing the victim. The investigation also revealed that the group had attacked others. The investigation is continuing, and other arrests are possible.

On Dec. 16, the following individuals were charged:

  • Keandre S. Johnson, 21, of Irvington, who is currently incarcerated in the Essex County Correctional Facility on other charges, has been charged with murder, felony murder, robbery, conspiracy, aggravated assault and endangering an injured victim.
  • Trazariah Shells, 18, of Newark, has been charged with murder, felony murder, robbery conspiracy, aggravated assault and endangering an injured victim. He is currently at the Essex County Correctional Facility.
  • Elexus Bass, 20, of Newark, has been charged with murder, felony murder, robbery, conspiracy, aggravated assault and endangering an injured victim. She is currently at large.
  • Duwann Baldwin-Elliott, 20, of Maplewood, also remains at-large. He has been charged with conspiracy, robbery and aggravated assault.

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