Thursday, July 18, 2013

Camden Men Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for the Murder of Carjacking Victim in 2011

MAYS LANDING – A Camden man sentenced to 30 years in prison for the murder of a Middlesex County man who was fatally shot during a carjacking at an Atlantic City casino parking garage in 2011, Acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain announced.

Today, 19-year-old Raheem Simmons was sentenced to 30 years in New Jersey State Prison for the murder 28-year-old Sunil Rattu, of Old Bridge.
On the morning of September 18, 2011, Simmons, along with co-defendants Eric S. Darden, 21, and Phillip L. Byrd, 21, also both of Camden, carjacked Rattu and Ms. Radha Ghetia, 24, of Parlin, in the parking garage at the Taj Mahal Casino.
The defendants forced the couple at gunpoint to drive from the parking garage to an alleyway located off the 500 block of Martin Luther King Boulevard, where they shot both victims. Rattu sustained fatal gunshot wounds to the head and Ghetia sustained a non-fatal gunshot wound to the upper body. Police responded to a 911 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 New Jersey State Police and several Camden County municipal police departments resulted in the identifying, charging and arrest of all three men within days of the crime.
All three defendants were indicted and subsequently pleaded guilty to the most serious charge – first degree felony murder.
On March 13, 2013, Byrd pleaded guilty and admitted to being the one who shot both victims.
The following day, Simmons pleaded guilty as well.
Today, the Court denied Simmons’ motion to withdrawal his guilty plea.
In accordance with the plea agreement, Superior Court Judge Bernard E. DeLury sentenced Simmons to 30 years in prison without the possibility of parole.
Darden, who had previously pleaded guilty on December 20, 2012, was sentenced to 40 years in New Jersey State Prison with a 30-year period of parole ineligibility.
Anyone with information involving serious crimes is asked to call the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-909-7800 or go to the Prosecutor’s Office Web site at and provide information by filling out the form anonymously on the Submit a Tip page. People can also call Crime Stoppers at 609-652-1234 or 1-800-658-8477 (TIPS) or visit the Crime Stoppers Website at Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards for information leading to the arrest and indictment of those who commit crimes in Atlantic County.


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