3rd Camden man pleads guilty to murder in fatal carjacking - NBC40.net

3rd Camden man pleads guilty to murder in fatal carjacking

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MAYS LANDING -

 

All three defendants have pleaded guilty to felony murder for the
carjacking and fatal shooting of a Middlesex County man in September 2011, acting 
Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain announced today.

This morning, in Superior Court, Raheem Simmons, 19, of Camden, the third and final 
defendant to plea in the case, pleaded guilty to one count of felony murder.
Simmons' two co-defendants, Eric S. Darden, 21, and Phillip L. Byrd, 21, both of 
Camden, previously pleaded guilty to felony murder for the murder of 28-year-old Sunil 
Rattu, of Old Bridge.

On the morning of September 18, 2011, Mr. Rattu and Radha Ghetia, 24, of Parlin, 
were carjacked by the defendants in the parking garage at the Taj Mahal Casino. The 
defendants then forced the victims at gunpoint to an alleyway off the 500 block of Martin 
Luther King Boulevard, where they both were shot. Mr. Rattu sustained fatal gunshot 
wounds to the head and Ms. Ghetia sustained a non-fatal gunshot wound to the upper 
body. Police responded to a 9-1-1 call and discovered the victims.

An investigation conducted by the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office Major Crimes Unit
in conjunction with the Atlantic City Police Department, the Camden County Sheriff's 
Office, the United States Marshals Service, the FBI, the Camden County Sheriff's 
Office, the New Jersey State Police and several Camden County municipal police 
departments resulted in the charging and arresting of all three men within days of the 
crime. 

On December 20, 2012, Darden pleaded guilty to felony murder. On February 15, 2013, 
he was sentenced to 40 years in New Jersey State Prison with a 30-year-period of 
parole ineligibility

Yesterday, Byrd entered into a plea agreement. During the plea, Byrd admitted to being 
the one who shot both victims. In accordance with the plea agreement, Byrd will receive 
a 47-year New Jersey State Prison sentence, with a 40-year-period of parole 
ineligibility.

Today, Simmons also accepted a plea agreement. The terms of the plea agreement
state that Simmons will be sentenced to 30 years in New Jersey State Prison, which he
must serve in its entirety.

Superior Court Judge Bernard E. DeLury will sentence both Simmons and Byrd on June 
7, 2013.

 

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