NJ correctional police officer among 4 charged in murder

Al-Fatin Grant was charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder and hindering apprehension in the slaying of 30-year-old Michael Wyche

By Noah Cohen
NJ Advance Media Group

NEWARK, N.J. — A New Jersey state corrections officer was among four people arrested in a shooting that left a Newark man dead and another injured, authorities said Tuesday.

Al-Fatin Grant, a correctional police officer with the Department of Corrections, was charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder and hindering apprehension in the slaying of 30-year-old Michael Wyche, of Newark, according to the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. Grant, 22, also of Newark, was arrested May 5.

“The Essex County Prosecutor’s investigators and assistant prosecutors did a tremendous job identifying and charging these individuals; the charges against Al-Fatin Grant, a member of law enforcement, are worthy of special recognition,” Acting Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens, II said in a statement. “In these times, law enforcement is facing intense scrutiny. Any allegation of a violation of the public trust is more damaging today than ever.’’

As the investigation continued, authorities said they identified three other suspects in the case.

Scott Banks, 32, of Irvington, was arrested Friday and charged with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and weapons offenses, the prosecutor’s office said.

Search warrants the next day led law enforcement officers to arrest Trevon Ellis, 27, and Ahmad Fields, 31. The two men, both of Newark, were charged with conspiracy to commit murder, according to the prosecutor’s office.

The arrests stemmed from the March 27 killing of Wyche, who was gunned down around 1:30 p.m. in the parking lot of New Community Corporation Housing Complex on Hayes Street in Newark. A second man was shot but survived his wounds, the office said.

Authorities did not disclose a possible motive for the shooting or release more details on the investigation. It was not yet clear if the men had retained attorneys.

The prosecutor’s office statement said Grant was suspended from his position. Representatives for the corrections department could not be immediately reached.

Anyone with information was urged to contact the prosecutor’s office tips line at 1-877-TIPS-4EC or 1-877-847-7432. Officials said calls would be kept confidential.


©2020 NJ Advance Media Group, Edison, N.J.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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