2 more charged in murder, funeral held for 12-year-old Paterson girl

Carolina Leid reports from Paterson.
Friday, July 11, 2014
Two more people have been charged and arrested in the death of a young girl from New Jersey who was shot on the street while riding her scooter. The arrests happened on the same day as her funeral.

The lyrics in Spanish, "no llores por mi es tan bello aqui" brought so many to tears" at Genesis Rincon's funeral.

It means "don't cry for me it's so beautiful here". They are words the 12-year-old's family believes she's saying to them from a much better place.

"I'm glad she's with God because now she doesn't have to suffer any more in Paterson," said Alexis Rincon, the victim's sister.

Genesis was murdered Saturday night while heading home from the store with her sister on Rosa Parks Boulevard in Paterson.

The 8th grader was caught in the crossfire and hit in the head by a stray bullet.

"July 5th 2014 was the worst day of my entire existence. I can't believe I'm here. I can't believe I see all of these people here. I can't believe I see my daughter there," said Alexis Rincon, the victim's father.

Family, friends and complete strangers chose to celebrate her life as they mourned her death at Community Baptist Church of Love in Paterson.

They're begging residents, people who are so moved by this loss, to unite and make this community a place where children don't have to be afraid.

"The book of Genesis means the beginning, and in the City of Paterson we felt like we were at our end. But Genesis had to wander into the street that day to remind us that our beginning is now our end," said Reverend Della Fischer, of Calvary Baptist Church.

According to the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office charges were filed against Jeffery Ellerbee, 21, of Paterson, and Marshae Anthony, 19, of Paterson, in connection with the shooting death of Genesis Rincon, 12, on Saturday.

Ellerbee was charged with one count of first-degree murder, as well as weapons charges. Anthony was charged with one count of second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and one count of second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon. Both have been arrested and the state has requested that bail be set at $2,000,000 cash for Ellerbee, and $75,000 for Anthony.

Meanwhile, 19-year-old Jhymiere Moore is facing first-degree murder and weapons charges after he turned himself in to police on Tuesday night in connection with the shooting. Moore made his first court appearance Friday, pleading not guilty.

"Rather than make it appear that he had some culpability or was in some way responsible for this, he took it upon himself to say, 'I am not guilty, I am not responsible for that tragedy, and I want to be an active member in this criminal justice system. I'm not going to become a second victim in this tragedy,'" attorney Harley Breite said.

Moore's bail was kept at $3 million, but Breite said he will file a motion in an attempt get that reduced. He is being held in protective custody at the Passaic County Jail because of the high-profile nature of the case.

Family and friends of Genesis packed the Passaic County courtroom earlier Friday, with many wearing "Justice for Genesis" hats and T-shirts.

Breite said Moore is being used as a "scapegoat" for the city's violence.

"The wrongful persecution of a 19-year-old city youth is not the answer to what's going on in Paterson," he said. "One thing is for sure, the killer of that young girl was not in court today."

Genesis was declared brain dead after the shooting, and ultimately, her family made the heartbreaking decision to take her off life support. She was kept alive so that her organs could be donated.

More than 1,000 people showed up at a rally and vigil Tuesday night on the steps of Paterson City Hall, calling for justice for Genesis and action for their safety. Shortly after it concluded, Moore surrendered.

Breite said Moore was identified by "people on the street who have criminal records, and they gave him the name of my client. Words of convicted felons and street thugs are not enough to convict someone."

Prosecutors say he turned himself in because of the growing pressure from police, the family and the community. He reportedly told authorities that Genesis was not the intended target, nor is there any evidence he was targeting one of the children with her at the time.

"There was a demonstration, a call for action, and I believe that pressure to the community and that guilt to the individual who opted to turn himself in because he couldn't live with himself," said Paterson Mayor Joey Torres.

Officials say Moore knew it was only a matter of time before he was caught.

"The Paterson detectives as well as the Passaic County Prosecutor's office, handing out flyers, asking for information, really begging for information," Passaic County Prosecutor Carmelia Valdes said. "That pressure led this defendant, in my estimation, to turn himself in."

Police have not been able to find the gun involved in the shooting, and they are asking anyone with additional information to come forward, particularly if they know who the intended target was.

In response to the incident, City Council members vowed to push for stricter ordinances in high crime areas.

"There's no reason why they should be open all hours of the night," councilman Andre Sayegh said. "And it's time we took a stand and regulate the hours of operation of these chicken stores, liquor stores and barber shops."

As community members lit candles, many admit giving up is so easy, but just not an option.

"I don't want you with me if you're not going to rock with me next year," Sayegh said. "I don't want you out here if you're not going to stand with me in two years and this family. Trenton, we're on our way. Washington, D.C., we're on our way."
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