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Jury Declines to Criminally Charge Two U.S. Marshals in Fatal Jersey City Shooting


By: Najla Alexander

NJ AG authorities announced that a state grand jury has voted not to file any criminal charges at the conclusion of its deliberations regarding the death of Esteban DeJesus, Jr., 56, of Orlando, Florida, who was fatally shot in Jersey City by two Deputy U.S. Marshals on the New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force on July 8, 2023.AdAccording to officials, Mr. DeJesus' death was investigated by the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) and presented to New Jersey residents serving on the grand jury in accordance with the Independent Prosecutor Directive of 2019.

In July 2021, officials stated that OPIA issued standard operating procedures (SOPs) to ensure these grand jury presentations are conducted in a neutral, objective manner, with appropriate transparency regarding the process, consistent with the directive.

The investigation included interviews, photographs, ballistics, and autopsy results from the medical examiner, officials said. 

Officials say this evidence was presented to a state grand jury. After hearing the testimony and evidence, the grand jury concluded its deliberations on May 20, 2024, and voted “no bill,” meaning jurors concluded no criminal charges should be filed against the two Deputy U.S. Marshals.

According to the investigation, members of the Task Force were in Jersey City to assist the Orlando City Police Department in locating and arresting Mr. DeJesus, who was wanted for murder and attempted murder in connection with a shooting of two victims on July 7, 2023, in Orlando, Florida.

Officials said at approximately 11:10 p.m. on July 8, two Deputy U.S. Marshals and a state trooper assigned to the task force encountered Mr. DeJesus in the area of Jefferson Avenue.

According to statements of the involved officers, Mr. DeJesus approached them armed with a machete, disregarding their commands to drop it.

The two Deputy U.S. Marshals fired their service weapons, striking Mr. DeJesus, authorities say, and he was transported to Jersey City Medical Center, where he was pronounced deceased at 11:44 p.m.AdThe machete was recovered and secured as evidence, officials say. 

A conflicts check was conducted pursuant to the Independent Prosecutor Directive, and officials said no actual or potential conflict of interest was found involving any individual assigned to the investigation. 

Authorities say OPIA Executive Director Drew Skinner reviewed the investigation prior to its presentation to the grand jury in accordance with the policies and procedures established for these presentations in the SOPs.