2 Women Charged With Murder of NJ Couple Slain in Botched Carjacking

A third suspect not yet named also faces charges

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    TK
    Nia Haqq, 25, and Michael Muchioki, 27, were killed on their way home from their engagement party

    Two 19-year-old women have been arrested in connection with the murder of a Jersey City couple returning home from their engagement party, police said Friday. A third suspect has also been charged, but police haven't released a name.

    Michael Muchiaki, 27, and his 25-year-old girlfriend, Nia Haqq were heading back to their northern New Jersey home when they were shot to death in what authorities believe was a botched carjacking.

    Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said they were both shot twice in the head. The couple was found near their car, which was not taken.

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    The couple had attended their engagement party in New Brunswick and returned to their Jersey City home around 3 a.m., DeFazio said.

    As they parked their car, they were approached by a man and two women, who later fled the scene in another vehicle.

    On Friday, police announced the arrests of Darmelia Lawrence and Latonia Bellamy, both of Jersey City, in connection with the deaths of Haqq and Muchiaki. The women, along with the third suspect not yet named, were charged with felony murder, armed robbery, unlawful possession of firearms, and possession of firearms for an unlawful purpose.

    DeFazio told NBC New York that "two weapons were used." Muchiaki was a victim of both a shotgun blast and a bullet from a handgun, both to his head. Haqq was gunned down with a handgun.

    The three suspects left the scene in a gold-colored Pontiac Grand Am, police said.

    DeFazio said that based on the crime scene and witness statements, it appears the victims were shot during an unsuccessful carjacking. Authorities believe their car could not be taken because it had anti-theft device.

    "The people who did this were there earlier in morning engaged in some kind of activity and we need help with that," DeFazio said.