Carteret killers sentenced to prison

Two men were sentenced Friday to terms in a New Jersey state prison for their roles in the fatal shooting of a Maryland man, who was visiting relatives in Carteret when he was killed.

Daniel Gillens, 24, of Newark was sentenced to 25 years in prison, while his co-defendant , Hakeem Mercer, 30, of Carteret, was sentenced to 10 years in the slaying on April 5, 2013 of Deonte J. Shackleford, 26, of Baltimore.

Superior Court Judge Michael Toto, sitting in New Brunswick, ruled the defendants must serve 85 percent of their terms before they can be eligible for parole.

The terms were imposed after the defendants pleaded guilty on May 11, 2016 when defense attorneys reached agreements with Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and assistant prosecutors Allysa Gambarella and Akesha Williams.

Gillens pleaded guilty to a count of aggravated manslaughter and Mercer admitted he conspired to commit an aggravated assault upon the victim.

The defendants were charged during an investigation by Sgt. Marcus Rosario of the Carteret Police Department and Detective Gregory Morris of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.

The investigation began when police, on patrol, heard gunshots fired in the Chrome section of Carteret and arrived at the intersection of Pershing Avenue and Union Street to find Shackleford on the sidewalk at the intersection.

The victim was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Rahway, where he was pronounced dead.

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