Judge releases 2 charged in killing of South Jersey coach in front of kids
MILLVILLE — Two people arrested in connection with the killing of a man in front of more than 100 children and parents have been released from jail pending trial, according to news reports.
Joseph Jones was killed on Aug. 9 in the parking lot of Lakeside Middle School with the alleged killers opening fire at police while fleeing
While two defendants remain in custody, the two charged with trying to protect the accused killers were released, the Press of Atlantic City reported.
Genea Hughes-Lee, 34, and Tyrell Hart, 22, of Vineland, who were both charged with conspiracy to hinder apprehension, hindering apprehension, and obstruction, among other charges, were released, the Press reported.
Will El-Bey, 22, and Eugene Cosby, 42, have been charged with homicide.
Hughes-Lee and Hart were released after their attorneys argued that they scored low on the public safety assessment, which determines whether people charged with a crime are likely to commit another crime if released, the paper said.
Police believe Jones was the intended target of the shooting, but did not say whether they knew what the motive was.
Cosby, from the Malaga section of Franklin Township in Gloucester County, and El-Bey, of Vineland, are charged with providing investigators false statements in order to protect other people involved in the case, according to a criminal complaint. Hart also accepted a "benefit" for providing the false information, according to the complaint. Hughes-Lee is also charged with tampering with witnesses.
Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae called Jones' killing "particularly unsettling because it was committed in broad daylight at a football practice in front of numerous children."
"It is my hope that these arrests assure the victim's family, the children and parents of the Millville Midget Football League and the greater community that law enforcement will do all in its power to bring those we allege are responsible to justice," she said at the time of the arrests.
The Press reported that Hart and Hughes-Lee will have to report to the court each week as part of their releases, and were also ordered to not have contact with the other defendants.