MOUNT HOLLY, NJ (April 19, 2017)-- Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced today that a Pennsauken man has been indicted for murder in connection with a fatal shooting earlier this year on a Burlington City street.
A Burlington County Grand Jury returned an indictment today against Irie Y. Simmons, of the 5000 block of Highland Drive in Pennsauken, charging him with one count of Murder (First Degree), Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (Second Degree), and Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Second Degree). Simmons was 18 at the time of his arrest in January.
A co-defendant, Xavier L. Myers, who was 19 at the time of his arrest, of the 700 block of South Worrington Avenue in Cinnaminson, was indicted on one count of Aggravated Assault (Third Degree).
The victim, Eric Thomas II, 30, of Eastampton, was pronounced dead at Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County in Willingboro at 11:29 p.m. on January 21, 2017.
The indictment was signed today by Prosecutor Coffina. An arraignment will be scheduled soon in Superior Court.
The investigation revealed that Simmons and Myers approached Thomas at approximately 10:40 p.m. on January 21, 2017, near the intersection of East Broad and Library streets in Burlington City. It is alleged that Simmons shot Thomas and then fled on foot with Myers.
Police officers from the Burlington City, Burlington Township, and the Burlington County Bridge Commission police departments responded to the scene of the shooting, and Simmons and Myers were picked up in the area and charged within hours. A Superior Court judge ordered Simmons to be detained following his arrest, while Myers was released. The firearm believed to be used in the shooting has been recovered.
The case was presented to the Grand Jury by Burlington County Assistant Prosecutor David G. Gelman. The investigation was conducted by detectives from the Burlington City Police Department and the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office. The lead investigators are BCPO Det. Michael Regan and Burlington City Det. Bill Ruskowski.
An indictment is merely an accusation. Defendants are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty.