TRENTON – Police have arrested a sixth suspect in the Aug. 4 killings of three college students, authorities said.
The 18-year-old suspect, Melvin Jovel, was charged Saturday night and apprehended in Elizabeth early Sunday morning, Essex County First Assistant Prosecutor Carolyn Murray said.
About 10 officers from the Newark police department, Essex County Prosecutor's office and Immigration and Customs Enforcement made the arrest at about 3 a.m., prosecutors said.
Jovel is charged with murder stemming from the execution-style slayings of Terrance Aeriel, 18; Dashon Harvey, 20, and Iofemi Hightower, 20. Aeriel's sister, Natasha, was shot in the head but survived and has helped police in the investigation.
Bail was set at $2 million by state Superior Court Judge Michael Ravin.
Jovel's arrest occurred about 24 hours after federal authorities in the Washington, D.C. area arrested 24-year-old Nicaraguan immigrant Rodolfo Godinez and 16-year-old Alexander Alfaro, his stepbrother.
Godinez was arrested in Oxon Hill, Md., and Alfaro was arrested less than an hour later in Woodbridge, Va.
Three other suspects — 28-year-old Jose Carranza, an illegal immigrant from Peru, and two juveniles — were already in custody. All are charged with three counts of murder in addition to other counts.
There is no evidence of a familial connection between Jovel and the other suspects, the Essex County Prosecutor's office said Sunday.