Brown, Villagran and Williams Plead Not Guilty in Tevlin Murder
Wednesday, August 6, 2014 • 11:24pm
WEST ORANGE, NJ - In a Newark courtroom Wednesday, the attorneys of Ali Muhammed Brown, Jeremy Villagran and Eric Williams entered "not guilty" pleas on behalf of their clients charged in the murder of Livingston teen Brendan Tevlin as his parents and family members watched.
The attorneys entered the not guilty pleas in front of Superior Superior Court Judge Ronald Wigler.
The Essex County Prosecutor's Office said Brown was determined to be the shooter after ballistics proved the 9mm handgun found in his possession when he was captured by West Orange Police on July 18 matched the 10 bullets shot into Tevlin's car when he was killed at the corner of Walker Road and Northfield Avenue in West Orange on June 25.
Ali Muhammad Brown, 29, of Seattle, was charged with murder, felony murder, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and unlawful possession of a weapon.
Brown is also wanted in the murder of two Seattle youths. Washington still has a death penalty. New Jersey abolished the death penalty in 2007. It is unclear at this time whether Brown will be extradited to Washington or remain in New Jersey.
Also charged in connection with the Tevlin murder are Jeremy Villagran, 19, and Eric Williams,18, both of West Orange. The teens were charged with felony murder, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and unlawful possession of a weapon.
Details of the crime emerged during the Aug. 4 press conference at the Essex County Courthouse. Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray classified the crime as a robbery.
At the time, bail was set for Brown in the amount of $5 million, and for Villagran and Williams in the amount of $1 million. They all remain in custody at the Essex County Correctional Facility.
As to speculation that there may be a fourth suspect still at large, Essex County Prosecutor's Office spokesperson Katherine Carter told Tap into West Orange, "This is an ongoing investigation. Other charges may or may not be forthcoming against current defendants or others."
Tap into West Orange will continue to report new information as it becomes available.
(Editor's Note: This article was updated on August 7 at 3:00 pm.)