Sunday, December 21, 2014

Atlantic City Man Indicted for Murder after Fatal Shooting in 2011

MAYS LANDING – An Atlantic City man was indicted for murder today for the fatal shooting of a man found dead inside his Atlantic City home in 2011, Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain announced.
Okese J. Smith, 21, of the 1300 block of Magellan Ave., Atlantic City, was indicted today on five criminal counts:

  1. Murder, a 1st degree crime, 
  2. Felony Murder, a 1st degree crime, 
  3. Robbery, a 1st degree crime, 
  4. Possession of a firearm for an Unlawful Purpose, a 2nd degree crime, and 
  5. Unlawful Possession of a handgun, a 2nd degree crime. 

  • On Feb. 16, 2011, at 1:45 p.m., officers of the Atlantic City Police Department responded to the Lighthouse Plaza, 300 Atlantic Avenue, Atlantic City, for the report of an odor emanating from a residence. 

  • Police found the body of Bruce Bowers, 48, dead inside his apartment. 
  • Atlantic City Police detectives, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, and the Atlantic County Medical Examiner were called to the scene. 
  • The cause of Bower’s death was determined to be a gunshot wound to the chest. 
  • A three-year-long cooperative investigation by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit and the Atlantic City Police Department culminated in Okese J. Smith’s arrest on May 8, 2014. Smith was arrested without incident at the residence of a relative on the 1300 block of Magellan Avenue, Atlantic City. 
  • Because Smith was 17 years old at the time of the murder, he was charged on juvenile complaints.
Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Joseph L. Marczyk remanded Smith to be held in the Atlantic County Justice Facility.
On July 22, 2014, The Prosecutor’s Office made motion to Family Court that the court waive jurisdiction on the matter to Criminal Court, for Smith to be tried as an adult.
Judge Marczyk ordered the waiver, issued the adult criminal complaints, and set bail at $1,000,000—no 10%. Smith was returned to the Atlantic County Justice Facility, where he has remained since his arrest.
Today, an Atlantic County Grand Jury indicted Smith on all counts.
A conviction for murder carries a potential penalty of incarceration in New Jersey State prison for 30 years to life. A 1st degree robbery conviction carries a potential penalty of 10 to 20 years of imprisonment, and the potential penalty for a 2nd degree conviction is 5 to 10 years.
Chief Assistant Prosecutor John Maher represents the State in the matter.
This charge is merely an accusation and not proof of guilt. In all criminal cases, a charged defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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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