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Crime Man convicted in stray bullet killing of 9-year-old girl sleeping in bed

21:01  16 january  2020
21:01  16 january  2020 Source:   nj.com

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A Cumberland County jury has convicted a man in the shooting death of a 9-year-old child.

a group of people looking at a computer: Leroy Frazier III appears before Judge Robert Malestein in Cumberland County Superior Court for the opening arguments of a trial,Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. Frazier is one of four charged in the shooting death of 9-year-old Jennifer Trejo, who was struck by a stray bullet in 2018.© Joe Warner | For NJ Advance Media/Joe Warner | For NJ Advance Media/nj.com/TNS Leroy Frazier III appears before Judge Robert Malestein in Cumberland County Superior Court for the opening arguments of a trial,Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. Frazier is one of four charged in the shooting death of 9-year-old Jennifer Trejo, who was struck by a stray bullet in 2018.

Jennifer Trejo was killed by a stray bullet as she slept in her bed on July 17, 2018, in Bridgeton.

a man in a suit sitting at a desk: Bridgeton Police Officer Robert Robbins answers questions from Senior Assistant Prosecutor Elizabeth Vogelsong during the trial of Leroy Frazier III in Cumberland County Superior Court, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. Frazier is one of four charged in the shooting death of 9-year-old Jennifer Trejo, who was struck by a stray bullet in 2018.© Joe Warner | For NJ Advance Media/Joe Warner | For NJ Advance Media/nj.com/TNS Bridgeton Police Officer Robert Robbins answers questions from Senior Assistant Prosecutor Elizabeth Vogelsong during the trial of Leroy Frazier III in Cumberland County Superior Court, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. Frazier is one of four charged in the shooting death of 9-year-old Jennifer Trejo, who was struck by a stray bullet in 2018.

On Thursday morning, the jury found Leroy Frazier III, 21, not guilty of first-degree murder, but guilty of first-degree aggravated manslaughter, first-degree conspiracy to commit murder, first-degree attempted murder, and second- and third-degree aggravated assault charges.

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a man and a woman standing in front of a screen: Bridgeton Police Officer Robert Robbins reviews evidence with Senior Assistant Prosecutor Elizabeth Vogelsong during the trial of Leroy Frazier III in Cumberland County Superior Court, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. Frazier is one of four charged in the shooting death of 9-year-old Jennifer Trejo, who was struck by a stray bullet in 2018.© Joe Warner | For NJ Advance Media/Joe Warner | For NJ Advance Media/nj.com/TNS Bridgeton Police Officer Robert Robbins reviews evidence with Senior Assistant Prosecutor Elizabeth Vogelsong during the trial of Leroy Frazier III in Cumberland County Superior Court, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. Frazier is one of four charged in the shooting death of 9-year-old Jennifer Trejo, who was struck by a stray bullet in 2018.

He was found not guilty of second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon, but guilty of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

Frazier was the first of four defendants to face trial in the case.

He faces a potential prison term of 30 years to life when he is sentenced Feb. 21.

Prosecutors alleged that Frazier, Michael L. Elliot, 27, Charles H. Gamble, 19, and Zahmere K. McKoy, 20, all of Bridgeton, opened fire on a group gathered in front of a home on Elmer Street in Bridgeton.

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a group of people looking at a laptop: Judge Robert Malestein presides over the trial of Leroy Frazier III in Cumberland County Superior Court for the opening arguments of a trial,Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. Frazier is one of four charged in the shooting death of 9-year-old Jennifer Trejo, who was struck by a stray bullet in 2018.© Joe Warner | For NJ Advance Media/Joe Warner | For NJ Advance Media/nj.com/TNS Judge Robert Malestein presides over the trial of Leroy Frazier III in Cumberland County Superior Court for the opening arguments of a trial,Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. Frazier is one of four charged in the shooting death of 9-year-old Jennifer Trejo, who was struck by a stray bullet in 2018.

The target of the shooting was a man standing with the group, prosecutors said, but he was not injured. The bullet that killed Jennifer struck the rear of her home on nearby Church Street.

The round entered her chest and embedded in her liver, prosecutors said.

Jennifer’s father testified last week about rushing his wounded child to a hospital and said his daughter died in his arms.

a man looking at the camera: Leroy Frazier III appears before Judge Robert Malestein in Cumberland County Superior Court for the opening arguments of a trial,Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. Frazier is one of four charged in the shooting death of 9-year-old Jennifer Trejo, who was struck by a stray bullet in 2018.© Joe Warner | For NJ Advance Media/Joe Warner | For NJ Advance Media/nj.com/TNS Leroy Frazier III appears before Judge Robert Malestein in Cumberland County Superior Court for the opening arguments of a trial,Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. Frazier is one of four charged in the shooting death of 9-year-old Jennifer Trejo, who was struck by a stray bullet in 2018.

Evidence presented during the trial included surveillance footage from multiple locations that the prosecution said showed the defendants making their way from Elliot’s home on Laurel Street to the house on Elmer Street shortly after midnight.

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Investigators recovered 19 bullet casings from Elmer Street. A bullet casing recovered from Frazier’s home was similar to a few of the casings found on Elmer Street.

Other evidence included social media communications in which Frazier told his co-defendants to get rid of their clothing. He told investigators he said this because he had bedbugs in his home.

a man and a woman standing in front of a laptop: Ruben Terjo, father of Jennifer Trejo, answers questions from Senior Assistant Prosecutor Elizabeth Vogelsong during the trial of Leroy Frazier III in Cumberland County Superior Court, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. Frazier is one of four charged in the shooting death of 9-year-old Jennifer Trejo, who was struck by a stray bullet in 2018.© Joe Warner | For NJ Advance Media/Joe Warner | For NJ Advance Media/nj.com/TNS Ruben Terjo, father of Jennifer Trejo, answers questions from Senior Assistant Prosecutor Elizabeth Vogelsong during the trial of Leroy Frazier III in Cumberland County Superior Court, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. Frazier is one of four charged in the shooting death of 9-year-old Jennifer Trejo, who was struck by a stray bullet in 2018.

Senior Assistant Prosecutor Elizabeth Vogelsong presented social media photos showing the defendants wearing garments similar to those worn by the figures in the surveillance footage.

a man and a woman sitting at a desk: Senior Assistant Prosecutor Elizabeth Vogelsong presents her opening arguments to the jury during the trial of Leroy Frazier III in Cumberland County Superior Court,Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. Frazier is one of four charged in the shooting death of 9-year-old Jennifer Trejo, who was struck by a stray bullet in 2018.© Joe Warner | For NJ Advance Media/Joe Warner | For NJ Advance Media/nj.com/TNS Senior Assistant Prosecutor Elizabeth Vogelsong presents her opening arguments to the jury during the trial of Leroy Frazier III in Cumberland County Superior Court,Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. Frazier is one of four charged in the shooting death of 9-year-old Jennifer Trejo, who was struck by a stray bullet in 2018.

While the state couldn’t prove which defendant fired the fatal shot, Vogelsong argued that all four were responsible as accomplices

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Frazier’s attorney, Emily Bell, had argued that the state’s case was purely circumstantial and failed to connect her client to the crime.

a woman standing in front of a computer: Senior Assistant Prosecutor Elizabeth Vogelsong presents her opening arguments to the jury during the trial of Leroy Frazier III in Cumberland County Superior Court,Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. Frazier is one of four charged in the shooting death of 9-year-old Jennifer Trejo, who was struck by a stray bullet in 2018.© Joe Warner | For NJ Advance Media/Joe Warner | For NJ Advance Media/nj.com/TNS Senior Assistant Prosecutor Elizabeth Vogelsong presents her opening arguments to the jury during the trial of Leroy Frazier III in Cumberland County Superior Court,Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. Frazier is one of four charged in the shooting death of 9-year-old Jennifer Trejo, who was struck by a stray bullet in 2018.

Jennifer’s father, Ruben Trejo, attended each day of the trial, as did members of Frazier’s family, including his mother.

Trejo shook hands and hugged prosecutors following the verdict. He declined to offer a comment.

a man looking at the camera: Leroy Frazier III appears before Judge Robert Malestein in Cumberland County Superior Court for the opening arguments of a trial,Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. Frazier is one of four charged in the shooting death of 9-year-old Jennifer Trejo, who was struck by a stray bullet in 2018.© Joe Warner | For NJ Advance Media/Joe Warner | For NJ Advance Media/nj.com/TNS Leroy Frazier III appears before Judge Robert Malestein in Cumberland County Superior Court for the opening arguments of a trial,Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. Frazier is one of four charged in the shooting death of 9-year-old Jennifer Trejo, who was struck by a stray bullet in 2018.

Matt Gray may be reached at mgray@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MattGraySJT. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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