ELIZABETH – A grand jury indicted alleged Bloods gang member Jaquan Bell, 16, who is accused of shooting another teen to death outside a Union Township roller rink just after midnight on Dec. 26, 2008.
Bell, who will be tried as an adult, faces life in prison if he is convicted of murdering Jean D’haiti according to the Union County Prosecutor’s Office. He is being held in lieu of $400,000 bail at the Juvenile Detention Center in Union County.
Several fights broke out inside Skate 22 last Christmas during a heavily-promoted party that ended early after organizers ejected several unruly guests. Outside the rink, a group of Haitian youths chased a group of alleged Bloods gang members to the parking lot, authorities said. The prosecutor’s office has not said if D’haiti was involved in the chase.
Bell, who authorities identified as one of the Bloods gang members being chased, allegedly turned and fired several shots while fleeing. One of those bullets fatally struck D’haiti, according to prosecutors.
Bell’s attorney, Michael Robbins, disputes the authorities’ account of the shooting, maintaining that the larger group of Haitian youths was armed and entered the rink intent on “causing trouble” for his client’s smaller group.
Robbins contends that D’Haiti was likely caught in a “crossfire” between the two groups, arguing that it would have been impossible for Bell to shoot D’haiti in the back of the head while fleeing the Haitian youths.
Robbins also disputes prosecutors’ contention that Bell’s group, called the “Dipset” is affiliated with the Bloods.
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