Trenton, NJ – A judge refused to keep a suspected murderer locked up ahead of his trial despite him being assessed as “at risk of committing new acts of violence.”
Judge Ronald Susswein ordered 18-year-old Nasir Reed released from jail on electronically-monitored house arrest. The judge also gave Reed permission to attend school, The Trentonian reported.
The New Jersey Judiciary’s Pretrial Services Program’s determination that Reed was “at high risk of failing to appear in court and at high risk of committing new criminal activity” wasn’t enough to convince Susswein not to release the teen who killed a 35-year-old man with his car.
Police reviewed surveillance footage and positively identified Reed as the driver of a 2006 Nissan Altima that struck and dragged Charles Nevius in the parking lot of a QuickChek in Lawrence Township on Feb. 19, ultimately killing him, KYW-TV reported.
Police said that Reed struck an SUV in the parking lot, and that Nevius was attempting to stop him from leaving the scene.
The affidavit of probable cause said the Nissan continued to “accelerate forward towards the pedestrian victim,” according to KYW.
“At this time the pedestrian victim lowers his hands and places them on the hood of the car to brace himself against impact,” the affidavit said. “As the driver of the Nissan continues to accelerate it appears the lower portion of the pedestrian victim’s body gets caught in the passenger side wheel area of the vehicle, causing the victim to fall backwards and strike the rear of his head on pavement. The driver of the Nissan then continues to drive away, dragging the victim several feet.”
Nevius suffered a mortal wound to his head. He remained on life support for several days at Capital Health Regional Medical Center before he died on Feb. 22, The Trentonian reported.
Lawrence Police Detective Daniel Gladney filed a complaint warrant against Reed on Feb. 22, charging him with one count of second-degree reckless death by auto (vehicular homicide) and one count of second-degree leaving the scene of a fatal accident.
Reed surrendered to police on March 5.
Police found the vehicle that killed Nevius in a secluded area.
Reed’s attorney, John Furlong, told The Trentonian that Reed’s “categorically denies” being the person who ditched his 2006 Nissan Altima, and removed its license plates.
He has been prohibited from possessing any firearms or dangerous weapons, consuming alcoholic beverages, and using drugs without a prescription, under the terms of his pre-trial release. He was also forbidden to contact any witnesses or members of the victim’s family, KYW reported
Reed will be also be subject to random drug testing.
“Smoking dope is a violation of my order,” Susswein informed Reed before letting him go.