Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today an Essex County grand jury returned a 37-count indictment charging Anwar Crockett, 31, and Ali Karim, 30, both of Elizabeth with murder, felony murder, carjacking, robbery, arson, eluding and multiple drug and weapons charges.
Both men were charged with murdering Reginald Wilson, 27, of Elizabeth and Ismael Bowers, 31, of Newark on Sept. 15, 2010. The victims were shot while sitting in an Audi in front of a bar in the 300 block of Sherman Ave., in Newark. In addition to the murder charges, they were indicted for the attempted murder of Ainsley Taylor, who was also in the car. He was shot at, but was not shot.
Crockett and Karim were also indicted for robbing the victims and stealing their car. The indictment further alleges Crockett and Karim torched the Audi in the city of Elizabeth. Karim was also indicted for stealing a BMW on Sept. 15.
On Sept. 19, the two defendants refused to stop when directed to do so by Elizabeth police resulting in a police chase involving Elizabeth Police. The indictment alleges the defendants caused or attempted to cause serious bodily injury to six police officers.
The defendants used a .40 caliber handgun, 9 mm handgun and a Cobray SM-11 mm firearm – an assault weapon – to carry out their crimes. In addition, when they were arrested on Sept. 19, they were in possession of cocaine. They were indicted on charges of possession and possession with intent to distribute.
They are scheduled to be arraigned on July 5, 2011 before the Honorable Peter J. Vazquez, Judge of the Superior Court.
Both men face life in prison without possibility of parole if they are found guilty of all the charges.
These are accusations. All defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until they plead guilty or are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.