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Sussex Woman Becomes 5th Charged With Murder In Ambush Shooting Death Of Newark Man In Paterson

Jenna N. Peselli
Jenna N. Peselli Photo Credit: FACEBOOK / INSET: Passaic County Prosecutor's Office

A 24-year-old mother from Sussex County became the fifth person charged with murder in the shooting death of a 21-year-old Newark man who was ambushed in Paterson earlier this year.

Jenna N. Peselli of Newton surrendered to Paterson police on Monday and was booked into the Passaic County Jail, records show.

She joins two adults – a man and woman, both 19, from Paterson, and two city boys, both 17 – who are accused of planning and executing the slaying of Jose Figueroa at the corner of Totowa and Redwood avenues shortly before 7 p.m. May 1, authorities said.

A team of shooters were recruited, transported and positioned to kill the victim that night, Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes and Paterson Police Chief Ibrahim Baycora said in a joint statement.

Responding officers found Figueroa in the street with several bullet wounds. He was taken to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson, where he was later pronounced dead.

An investigation “revealed that the shooting was a coordinated attack involving multiple shooters in multiple locations,” Valdes and Baycora said.

They didn’t divulge a possible motive or specify how many shooters in all were believed responsible.

City police who established a perimeter with help from a Passaic County Sheriff’s K-9 unit reported recovering a single handgun.

Last week, authorities arrested Ismael Leon, 19, of Paterson and detained a 17-year-old Clifton boy in connection with the killing.

They joined Chelsee Ramirez, 19, also of Paterson and another 17-year-old city boy who were both charged in June.

All five were involved in the “planning and execution of the shooting. including transporting the shooters to the scene,” Valdes and Baycora said.

All were charged with both murder and conspiracy, she said.

Peselli, Leon and Ramirez were being held in the Passaic County Jail. Both boys remained held at the Essex County Juvenile Detention Center in Newark.

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