NJ man faces life in prison for 9-year-old’s stray-bullet death
BRIDGETON — A 21-year-old man faces mandatory life in prison without parole for the stray bullet death of a 9-year-old girl in her own city bedroom.
A Cumberland County jury convicted Leroy Frazier, of Bridgeton, on charges stemming from the killing of Jennifer Trejo, who died in July 2018 when a bullet ripped through a wall of her home on Church Street.
Frazier was found guilty Thursday after a two-week trial in Superior Court.
After just four hours of deliberation, the jury returned its verdict on conspiracy to commit murder, aggravated manslaughter, attempted murder, two counts of aggravated assault and possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose.
The jury, however, found him not guilty of the most serious charge of murder.
Still, when he is sentenced on Feb. 21, Frazier faces a mandatory term of life in prison without parole based on his prior criminal history, according to Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae.
On July 17, 2018, the prosecutor's office announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Trejo's death.
Frazier was arrested Aug. 24 2018, alongside Michael Elliot and Charles Gamble, and all three were charged with murder in Trejo's death. Zahmere McKoy was arrested five days later and faced the same charges.
Police said they found a handgun, a substantial amount of suspected heroin and a small amount of crack cocaine in the homes of Frazier and Elliot.
Elliot, McKoy and Gamble still are awaiting trial.
When sentenced on Feb. 21, Frazier faces a mandatory term of life in prison without parole based on his prior criminal history, according to Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae.
Prosecutors said Frazier and the three other Bridgeton men opened fire on some people outside a city home. No one in the targeted group was struck, but a stray round went through the wall of Trejo's home.
Police said they recovered 19 bullet casings from the scene and believe three guns were used in the deadly incident.
Frazier said he was at home with his daughter at the time of the shooting but in court prosecutors cited Facebook messages they said contradicted that story.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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