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DV Pilot Police & Fire

Bergen-Based Cold-Case Squad Cracks Newark Murder, Accused Irvington Gunman Captured

Kevin Stevenson
Kevin Stevenson Photo Credit: MUGSHOT: Courtesy ESSEX COUNTY SHERIFF

A cold-case task force created in Bergen County cracked a 10-year-old Newark murder with the arrest of an East Orange man.

The victim, 31-year-old Philip Quale, was killed by several gunshots on the 17th floor of a First Street high rise on Dec. 27, 2009, authorities said Thursday.

What initially was an exhaustive investigation didn’t produce an arrest, and the case went cold, Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella, Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens, II and Newark Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose, III said in a joint release.

The investigation was revived by the North Jersey Cold Case Task Force, established by Musella’s office and the New Jersey State Police six months ago.

Detectives learned that Quale was shot and killed in a hallway by Kevin Stevenson, 39, the prosecutor said.

They obtained a warrant for his arrest on July 15 and captured him on Tuesday, he said.

Stevenson was being held in the Essex County Jail on murder and weapons possession.

Musella thanked the cold-case task force’s participating agencies, as well as the FBI Newark Division for its assistance in capturing Stevenson.

The task force includes detectives from Bergen, Essex, and Passaic County prosecutor’s offices, Newark police and the NJSP.

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