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Pleasantville Man Pleads Guilty to Shooting 15-Year-Old Naimah Bell

MAYS LANDING- An 18 year-old Pleasantville man pleaded guilty on Thursday in the fatal July shooting of Naimah Bell, 15, also of Pleasantville, First Assistant Prosecutor Cary Shill announced.

Nahquil Lovest pleaded guilty to a charge of first degree Aggravated Manslaughter and must serve 10 years in New Jersey state prison subject to the No Early Release Act (NERA), which mandates that the defendant must serve 85% of the sentence.

“The reality is that there is no amount of time the defendant can serve that will bring Na’imah back to life.  The defendant’s reckless handling of a firearm robbed Na’imah and her family of all of her potential.  Now, two lives have been lost, which leaves us all wondering about who they could have developed into,” said Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner.

In October, Lovest was indicted on the following charges: Aggravated Manslaughter, second degree unlawful Possession of a Weapon, second degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, fourth degree Aggravated Assault Pointing a Weapon, in the fatal shooting of 15 year-old Naimah Bell of Pleasantville.

Lovest was arrested on Friday, July 26, 2019, in connection to the murder of Bell was shot and killed inside the address 102 S. Massachusetts Ave., Atlantic City, shortly after 4:00 a.m., on July 25, 2019. An initial autopsy was conducted and determined that the pending cause of death to be a gunshot wound to the head and the pending manner of death as a homicide.

The arrest was the result of a cooperative investigation between the Atlantic City Police Department, Pleasantville Police Department and Atlantic County Major Crimes Unit.

Lovest was arrested without incident by members of the Atlantic City Police Department Violent Crime Unit and Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, with the assistance of the Atlantic County SWAT team. He is lodged in the Atlantic County Justice Facility, awaiting sentencing. Assistant Prosecutor Laura Heisman represents the state in this matter.