Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri and Hopewell Police Chief James Rosso reported today that two teenage males have been arrested for last week’s fatal shooting of 20-year-old Philip Urban.
The 16-year-old male from Pennington, NJ, and the 17-year-old male from Hopewell, NJ*, were taken into custody this afternoon at the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office. Both defendants are charged with murder, felony murder, robbery, and weapons offenses. They will be lodged at the Middlesex County Youth Detention Center pending detention hearings.
The charges are the result of an investigation by the Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the Hopewell Township Police Department. At approximately 7pm on Saturday, December 17, 2022, Hopewell police responded to the Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space Eames Preserve, off of Harbourton-Woodsville Road. Upon arrival, officers located a white Mercedes C300 on a trail with a male slumped over in the driver’s seat. The victim, later identified as Urban, 20, of Manalapan, a 2022 Pennington School graduate, was transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead from a gunshot wound a short time later.
Investigation revealed that the juveniles planned to rob Urban of a quarter-pound of marijuana for $800. It is alleged that both defendants participated in the preparation, murder and coverup. Urban was lured to the gravel entry to the nature preserve where he was robbed of the marijuana, then shot and killed.
Because the defendants are juveniles, any further identification is being withheld. The case will be screened by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office to determine if it is appropriate to seek waiver to adult court.
Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
*Editor’s Note – The Press Release issued by the Prosecutor’s office did not specify, however Chief Jim Rosso confirmed that the Hopewell municipality referred to is Hopewell Township.
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