Two suspects that were juveniles when they allegedly murdered a Jersey City teenager, 16, late last year will be charged as adults, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez announced.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Juan Crawford, 18, and Leo Barker, 17, both of Jersey City, are each charged with murder and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, Suarez said in a statement.
Crawford was 17 when the shooting occurred and was arrested and charged as a juvenile on December 27th, 2021. Barker was 16 when the shooting occurred and was arrested and charged as a juvenile on March 23rd of this year.
On Thursday, December 16, 2021, shortly after 11:45 a.m., the Jersey City Police Department responded to O’LaLa Empanadas, located at 600 Communipaw Ave., on a report of shots fired.
Responding officers found an unresponsive victim – later identified as Pedro Rodriguez, 16, of Jersey City – with apparent gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene at approximately 12:00 p.m.
The Regional Medical Examiner determined the cause of death to be gunshot wounds and the manner of death to be homicide. If convicted as adults, Crawford and Barker face up to life in prison.