NJ man guilty of murdering brother — and daughter’s ‘witness’ cat
NEWARK — A 41-year-old man has been found guilty of shooting to death his own brother over an argument about money — and then killing his own daughter's cat because he thought the feline had been a witness to the murder.
City resident Ervwakine Pryor was turned in by his own friend, whom Pryor had confided about the killing.
Prosecutors said Pryor shot his 29-year-old brother, Jovan Johnson, on June 26, 2017, in the apartment they shared on Avon Avenue in the city's West Side neighborhood.
He also killed his daughter's cat, Skyler.
After the slaughter, prosecutors said Pryor called a friend to drive him to Home Depot to pick up a reciprocating saw. That's when Pryor told his friend about the slayings.
The friend testified that he called Pryor's daughter to tell her what her father had told him. She called police, who found her uncle's body, which Pryor had spent hours trying to hack apart and hide.
Pryor, who has a criminal record with 13 convictions for violence, drugs and weapons, was found guilty of murder, unlawfully disturbing human remains and animal cruelty. He faces 30 years in prison.
After the verdict, Assistant Prosecutor Meredith Mona called the killings senseless.
"Today’s verdict holds the defendant accountable for Javon Johnson’s death and offers justice to the family members forever affected by the defendant’s cruel and unnecessary actions," Mona said. “I commend the witnesses who had the courage to come forward and testify. They made all the difference."
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.