Judge Denies Bail Request From Man Accused in NJ Shooting of Girl, 14

Bail will remain at $2 million for a man charged with murder in the street shooting death of a 14-year-old girl in northern New Jersey.

The Record reports that a state judge rejected a bail reduction request from 20-year-old Shakeem Ricks after a court hearing on Friday.

Ricks' lawyer, Peter Festa, claimed Passaic County prosecutors have not offered any evidence that ties Ricks to the Sept. 20 slaying of high school freshman Nazerah Bugg.

But prosecutors noted that Ricks also faces attempted murder charges related to another victim in the shooting, and they said he allegedly threatened to kill an accomplice if that person talked about the shooting.

Superior Court Judge Bruno Mongiardo turned down the request, saying that the case is still in its early stages. Mongiardo also said he was reluctant to reduce the bail until he knows more about the case.

Prosecutors have said the slaying of Bugg was not gang-related. They have attributed the shooting to ongoing neighborhood disputes in Paterson's 1st and 4th wards.

Nazerah's death came about two months after another Paterson girl, 12-year-old Genesis Rincon, was killed when a stray bullet struck her while she was riding a scooter to a family gathering.

The deaths have spurred many residents to call on local and state leaders to do more to help end the ongoing violence in the city.

Ricks and three other men have been charged with murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder, along with other individual charges, and all four could face life sentences if they are convicted. Three juveniles are also charged in the case.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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