AP NEWS

1 of 4 suspects on trial on stray bullet slaying of girl, 9

January 15, 2020 GMT

BRIDGETON, N.J. (AP) — A jury must now decide the fate of one of the suspects charged in the death of a 9-year-old girl hit by a stray bullet as she slept in her bed in her New Jersey home.

NJ.com reports that 21-year-old Leroy Frazier III is the first of four defendants to face trial in Cumberland County in the death of Jennifer Trejo.

Prosecutors allege that a group of four people including Frazier opened fire on some people outside a Bridgeton home in July 2018. No one in the targeted group was struck, but a stray round went through the rear wall of a nearby home and hit the child. Investigators found 19 bullet casings and said they believe three guns were used.

Defense attorney Emily Bell called the evidence against her client circumstantial in her closing argument Wednesday. She challenged the reliability of ballistics evidence and argued that surveillance footage didn’t conclusively prove her client was one of the men shown.

Senior Assistant Prosecutor Elizabeth Vogelsong acknowledged that the evidence was circumstantial but told jurors that “connecting all of these dots” should convince them of the defendant’s guilt.

Frazier said he was at home with his daughter at the time of the shooting, but prosecutors cited Facebook messages they said contradicted his story.

The other three defendants are scheduled for trial later this month.