NEWARK — Two young men have been arrested on charges of murdering a 63-year-old grandmother who was shot on her front porch in Newark last year as she celebrated her birthday.

Jonathan Ritchie, 21, and his brother, Josiah Ritchie, 19, both of Newark, have been charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, unlawful possession of a weapon, and possession of weapon for an unlawful purpose, according to a joint statement from Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II and Newark Public Safety Director Brian A. O'Hara.

On March 11, 2021, Debra Derrick, was at her home on Lehigh Avenue, releasing balloons to celebrate her birthday and the birthday of her late twin sister, when she was shot to death, according to officials.

According to the statement, the shooters were identified as the brothers living with their mother and stepfather. The Ritchie men are originally from Guyana and had previously lived in Atlanta.

Both brothers are currently being held in the Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark.

Derrick previously worked as a certified nursing assistant at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center.

Jen Ursillo is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at

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