Four arrested in Newark murder

NEWARK, NJ — Four people have been arrested and charged in connection with the murder of Michael Wyche, 30, of Newark, according to a June 2 press release from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.

Al-Fatin Grant, 22, of Newark, a correctional police officer employed by the New Jersey Department of Corrections was charged May 5 with murder, conspiracy to commit murder and hindering apprehension. Grant was arrested following an investigation led by the ECPO Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force, which includes detectives from the Newark Police Department. In addition, state police and Bloomfield police assisted in the investigation.

As the investigation continued, three other defendants were arrested. On May 29, Scott Banks, 32, of Irvington, was arrested. He is charged with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and eluding. Banks was arrested by the Newark Police Department Criminal Intelligence Unit.

On May 30, a series of search warrants were executed in Newark and Irvington. Trevon Ellis, 27, and Ahmad Fields, 31, both of Newark, were also taken into custody during that operation, which was conducted by members of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Task Force, the FBI Violent Crime and Fugitive Task Force and Newark Police Department. Ellis and Fields are charged with conspiracy to commit murder.

“The Essex County Prosecutor’s investigators and assistant prosecutors did a tremendous job identifying and charging these individuals; the charges against Al-Fatin Grant, a member of law enforcement, are worthy of special recognition. In these times, law enforcement is facing intense scrutiny. Any allegation of a violation of the public trust is more damaging today than ever,” acting Essex County Prosecutor Ted Stephens said.

Newark Public Safety Director Ambrose said, “We are grateful these suspects are in custody as these arrests give our residents an added measure of safety within the community.’’

The murder of Wyche occurred on March 27 at approximately 1:30 p.m. He was shot in the parking lot of the New Community Corporation Housing Complex on Hayes Street in Newark. During the fatal shooting of Wyche, a second man was shot but survived. 

Grant has been suspended from the Department of Corrections pending the outcome of the criminal prosecution.

Additional assistance was provided by the New Jersey Department of Corrections’ Special Investigations Division. The investigation is active and ongoing. Anyone with information is urged to contact the ECPO tips line at 1-877-847-7432. Calls will be kept confidential.

The charges are accusations. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they enter a guilty plea or are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.