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Police & Fire

Sixth Person Arrested For Savage Beating, Shooting Of Rival In Long-Standing Feud

Trenton Merrill Photo Credit: Vernon PD
From left: Jakwai Sosa, Carlyann Merrill, Angela Raber Photo Credit: Vernon PD

An 18-year-old man is the sixth person to be arrested for an August shooting and beating that police believe arose from a long-standing feud.

On Tuesday, Sept. 29, Vernon Police arrested Trenton Merrill, 18, 157 Union St., Vernon, on the charges of attempted murder, operating a drug factory, and several other felonies, police said. Merrill is the suspected shooter, police said. He’s being held on a $1.6 million bond. 

A few days earlier, on Sept. 22, Vernon Police arrested five people connected to the same incident - an Aug. 27, daytime-shooting on Prospect Street, downtown Rockville.

Vernon Police said they are familiar with many of the people involved in the incident. The violence likely stems from a feud between two rival groups of young men that police said they’ve been trying to diffuse for years.

WHAT HAPPENED?

When police responded to the reported shooting on Aug. 27, they found a juvenile boy who had head and neck injuries from allegedly being pistol-whipped, police said. The police were informed that during the altercation someone allegedly put a pistol in the victim’s face and pulled the trigger, but the victim was able to deflect the weapon and avoid being shot, police said.

Witnesses allegedly identified two of the suspects, police said, as Trenton Merrill and Jakwai Sosa. 

Soon after the shooting, police went to where Merrill and Sosa live, 157 Union St., and executed a search warrant of the residence. Police allegedly found a “large quantity of drugs,” money, and surveillance camera systems affixed to the home. Forensic analysis was able to retrieve footage from the camera that has been useful to the investigation, police said.

THE CHARGES

The five other people charged are:

- Jakwai Sosa, 21, 157 Union St., Vernon, has been charged with conspiracy to commit murder, assault in the second degree with a firearm, operating a drug factory, possession of controlled substance with intent to sell, and more, police said.

- Carlyann Merrill, 41, 157 Union St., Vernon, has been charged with tampering with evidence and interfering with police, police said. Carlyann Merrill, Trenton Merrill’s mother, allegedly deleted footage off of the home’s security system after learning Trenton was being investigated, police said. Carlyann Merrill also allegedly refused to give police her cell phone, which police said needed to be searched for evidence. The phone had to be forcibly taken from her, police said.

- A 17-year-old boy has been charged with conspiracy to commit murder, criminal liability to commit murder, conspiracy to commit assault in the second degree with a firearm, and more, police said. Police suspect the boy was the one who drove Merrill and Sosa to and from the shooting.

Police do not publicly identify arrested juveniles. 

- Angela Raber, 18, of Vernon, has been charged with providing false statements and conspiracy to commit sale of controlled substances, police said. Police said Raber is the girlfriend of one of the males involved in the incident as well as a participant in the drug trafficking operation at 157 Union St., police said.

- A juvenile male was arrested and charged as part of a drug trafficking conspiracy, police said.

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