Sixth suspect in Newark schoolyard murders fights extradition
(Maryland - WABC, September 21, 2007) -
The last of the six suspects in the Newark schoolyard slayings refused to agree to extradition during a court hearing Friday morning.
Authorities say 24-year-old Rodolfo Godinez is continuing to fight extradition because he was denied access to officials at the Nicaraguan consulate, his attorney said during a hearing before Maryland District Court Judge Beverly Woodward.
Godinez will remain in custody in Maryland until at least October 5. He has been identified by Newark Police Director Garry McCarthy as a "principal player" in the triple murder.
The six suspects are charged in the execution-style murders of 18-year-old Terrance Aeriel, 20-year-old Dashon Harvey, and 20-year-old Iofemi Hightower. Aeriel's sister, 19-year-old Natasha, was shot in the back of the head but survived and helped police identify suspects.
Hightower also suffered defensive knife wounds to her arms and face, authorities have said.
In addition to Godinez, three other suspects - 28-year-old Jose Carranza, an illegal immigrant from Peru, and two unnamed 15-year-old boys - were arrested in New Jersey within the first week after the killings. The final suspect, 18-year-old Melvin Jovel, was later arrested in Elizabeth.
Prosecutors are seeking to have the three juveniles tried as adults. They are charged with felony murder, which is defined as murder that occurs during the commission of another felony or felonies. The adults are charged with murder, and all six suspects face robbery and weapons charges.
Both murder and felony murder carry a sentence of 30 years to life.
(Copyright 2007 WABC-TV)