Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens, II, and Newark Public Safety Director Brian A. O’Hara announced today two men have been arrested for the murder of Ms. Debra Derrick, a 63-year-old grandmother who was shot on her front porch as she celebrated her birthday.
Mr. Jonathan Ritchie, 21, of Newark and his brother, Mr. Josiah Ritchie, 19, also of Newark have both been charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of weapon for an unlawful purpose.
On March 11, 2021, officials said the victim, who previously worked as certified nursing assistant at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, was at her home in the 200 block of Lehigh Avenue releasing balloons to celebrate her birthday and the birthday of her late twin sister when she was shot.
The twin sister had died seven years earlier.
The two shooters were identified as brothers living with their mother and stepfather.
The brothers are originally from Guyana and had previously lived in Atlanta.
Both brothers are currently being held in the Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark.
These are accusations.
All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they enter a guilty plea or are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.