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MEADOWLANDS RACETRACK MURDERS: Jersey City Man Tipped Off Shooters, Authorities Charge

Davon Womack
Davon Womack Photo Credit: BERGEN COUNTY SHERIFF

A fourth Jersey City man has been charged with two counts of murder for arranging the shooting deaths of two young Paterson men outside the Meadowlands Racetrack last fall, authorities said Monday.

Davon Womack, 23, is accused of tipping off the shooters that Davonte Scudder, 22, and Brian Astacio, 21, were in the parking lot of the East Rutherford complex the night of Oct. 25.

Womack had “noticed the victims at the complex and then communicated with the co-defendants, who then traveled to the complex parking lot,” New Jersey State Police Col. Patrick J. Callahan and Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella said in a joint release Monday.

The shooters then “executed the victims,” they said.

A state trooper was patrolling the complex when he heard gunshots, then saw three people run from the area and hop into an Audi SUV that sped off, they said.

The trooper radioed for backup and followed the vehicle, which had been reported stolen out of Tenafly.

He tried to stop the SUV, which sped onto northbound Route 120, hit the divider and became disabled.

The four occupants – three adults and a 16-year-old boy -- ran towards the Izod Center and were quickly captured by troopers who recovered a .38-caliber revolver and a 9mm handgun.

Both victims were found in an Audi sedan in the Meadowlands parking lot. Scudder was pronounced dead at the scene and Astacio was pronounced a short time later at Hudson Regional (Meadowlands) Hospital in Secaucus.

Womack, who has a criminal history, fled to Miami but returned on Friday and was immediately taken into custody in Terminal A of Newark Airport by detectives from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and Port Authority police, Callahan and Musella said.

He was taken to the Bergen County Jail, where he joined:

  • Tariq Gathers, 24, who has a history of arrests and convictions, most related to drugs -- and including a 2015 incident in which he accidentally shot himself in the leg;
  • Nyshun Morris, 19, who was arrested on gun charges in Jersey City earlier this year after police chased him and a 17-year-old companion. A judge later released him, records show;.
  • Victor Geslicki, 19, a varsity baseball player at the University Academy Charter School in Jersey City.

All four are charged with two counts of murder and weapons possession each.

Authorities moved to have the boy tried as an adult. Meanwhile, he remained held at the Bergen County Juvenile Detention Center in Teterboro.

Nyshun Morris, Tariq Gathers, Victor Geslicki

BERGEN COUNTY SHERIFF

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