ELIZABETH—A Union County jury found a Plainfield man guilty of aggravated manslaughter in the 2007 death of a bystander caught in the crossfire between rival gangs, Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow said last week.
The jury spent two days deliberating before returning the verdict against Jakeem Pope, said Assistant Prosecutor Michael Henn, who prosecuted the case. The verdict was returned on Oct. 15.
According to the investigation, on March 13, 2007 two gangs were fighting in the area near the Plainfield train station. Pope is a member of a gang known as “Arlington Ave.,” authorities said.
“Arlington Ave. was having problems with another gang known as 116,” said Henn. “On the day of the shooting it appears that 116, armed with sticks and shovels, was chasing Arlington. The defendant pulled out a gun and fired at 116. He missed them but shot the victim once in the chest.”
The victim, Bukhtiar Latif Katchi, was 31 years old at the time.
Pope was also convicted on weapons charges and faces up to 30 years in prison when sentenced on Dec. 18.
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