SUS­PECT HELD

Al­leged Art All Night gun­man held pend­ing trial con­tends po­lice shot him in the back and he didn’t fire a shot

The Trentonian (Trenton, NJ) - - FRONT PAGE - By Su­laiman Ab­dur-Rah­man Su­laiman@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @sab­durr on Twit­ter

TREN­TON » Al­leged Art All Night gun­man Davone White has been in­dicted on al­le­ga­tions he pointed a loaded pis­tol at a Tren­ton cop and in the di­rec­tion of nu­mer­ous civil­ians dur­ing the 24-hour arts fes­ti­val that ended in chaos and blood­shed June 17.

Au­thor­i­ties are still await­ing bal­lis­tics test re­sults to con­firm whether White fired his black Tan­foglio hand­gun, but the Su­pe­rior Court on Fri­day or­dered the city man to be jailed with­out bail pend­ing fi­nal res­o­lu­tion of his case, firmly con­vinced the de­fen­dant pulled the trig­ger.

“It’s a se­ri­ous dan­ger to the com­mu­nity — pos­ses­sion of a firearm at a pub­lic event,” Judge An­thony Massi said Fri­day at White’s de­ten­tion hear­ing, “and dis­charg­ing that firearm.”

White, 27, limped into the court­room Fri­day af­ter­noon with his right arm tucked in a black sling, fi­nally ap­pear­ing in court after suf­fer­ing from gun­shot wounds in the Art All Night 2018 gun­play three months ago. Shack­led in chains and sport­ing an orange Mercer County Cor­rec­tion Cen­ter jump­suit, White mostly kept his head down while his lawyer ar­gued he was too wounded to be dan­ger­ous.

“He can barely walk now,” defense at­tor­ney Christo­pher Olsen said, sug­gest­ing the court should re­lease his client from jail due to his “se­vere” in­juries and “ex­ten­sive nerve dam­age.”

“He is not a dan­ger to the com­mu­nity,” Olsen said of White. “He’s not a risk of flee­ing. He’s not a risk of fail­ure to ap­pear.”

Mercer County As­sis­tant Prose­cu­tor Heather Hadley said the defense at a fu­ture date could sub­mit med­i­cal re­ports and re­quest a new de­ten­tion hear­ing at that time. White aimed a loaded weapon and “was ready to shoot it” at a pub­lic event that had 500 to over 1,000 people in at­ten­dance, Hadley ar­gued. She ac­knowl­edged bal­lis­tics test re­sults are pend­ing, mean­ing the state as of Fri­day af­ter­noon did not have any proof the re­cov­ered Tan­foglio pis­tol was dis­charged.

After Judge Massi or­dered White to be placed on pre­trial de­ten­tion, Olsen said he will get the med­i­cal records and file for the de­ten­tion hear­ing to be re­opened. White de­nies fir­ing a weapon at the arts event held at the Roe­bling Wire Works ware­house in Tren­ton’s North Ward.

“It’s his po­si­tion he never fired the weapon,” Olsen said in an in­ter­view fol­low­ing the de­ten­tion hear­ing. “It’s his po­si­tion he was shot from be­hind.”

White says a po­lice of­fi­cer shot him from be­hind, re­sult­ing in his se­ri­ous in­juries, Olsen said. White col­lapsed in the mid­dle of the road­way near the in­ter­sec­tion of Dye and Ge­ne­see streets, and au­thor­i­ties say they re­cov­ered a hand­gun in close prox­im­ity to the de­fen­dant.

White has an ex­ten­sive crim­i­nal his­tory go­ing back to his days as a ju­ve­nile, which in­cludes an adult con­vic­tion of third-de­gree ag­gra­vated as­sault, a vi­o­lent crime that re­sulted in him be­ing sen­tenced March 9 to non-cus­to­dial pro­ba­tion for two years.

The New Jersey Ju­di­ciary’s Pub­lic Safety As­sess­ment rated White as be­ing at the high­est risk of com­mit­ting new crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity and the high­est risk of fail­ing to ap­pear in court for manda­tory pro­ceed­ings. The PSA is­sued a “no re­lease” rec­om­men­da­tion.

A grand jury on Thurs­day handed up an in­dict­ment charg­ing White and an­other de­fen­dant, Amir Arm­strong, with weapons of­fenses.

White has been in­dicted on one count of sec­ond-de­gree un­law­ful pos­ses­sion of a hand­gun with­out a per­mit to carry, one count of sec­ond-de­gree pos­ses­sion of a pis­tol for an un­law­ful pur­pose, one count of fourth-de­gree pos­ses­sion of a large-ca­pac­ity am­mu­ni­tion mag­a­zine, one count of fourthde­gree ag­gra­vated as­sault on al­le­ga­tions he pointed a pis­tol at Tren­ton Po­lice De­tec­tive Eliezer Ramos, an­other count of fourthde­gree ag­gra­vated as­sault on al­le­ga­tions he pointed a firearm at nu­mer­ous uniden­ti­fied civil­ians, and one count of sec­ond-de­gree cer­tain per­sons not to pos­sess a firearm stem­ming from his prior ag­gra­vated as­sault con­vic­tion.

Arm­strong, 24, has been in­dicted on one count of sec­ond-de­gree un­law­ful pos­ses­sion of a sil­ver hand­gun with­out a per­mit to carry and one count of third-de­gree re­ceiv­ing stolen prop­erty on al­le­ga­tions he pos­sessed a hand­gun that had been stolen. Arm­strong, who was shot in the head in the Art All Night gun­play, was or­dered to pre­trial de­ten­tion sev­eral weeks ago.

The Mercer County Homi­cide Task Force continues to in­ves­ti­gate the shoot­ing that erupted dur­ing the early morn­ing hours of June 17. Po­lice shot and killed 32-year-old Ta­haij Wells in the ap­par­ent gun­fight that tran­spired when cops were at­tempt­ing to shut down the rowdy event. Wells would have likely been charged with weapons of­fenses if he sur­vived.

The Mercer County Prose­cu­tor’s Of­fice has re­leased sur­veil­lance video, body-cam footage and 9-1-1 record­ings from the Art All Night mass shoot­ing that in­jured at least 22 people, in­clud­ing 17 who suf­fered gun­shot wounds.

(left to right) Amir Arm­strong, Ta­haij Wells and Davone White

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