Lawrence Man Indicted in Applebee’s Homicide

A Mercer County grand jury returned an indictment this week charging a 27-year-old Lawrence man with the November 2017 murder of Devin Smith, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported.

Officials said Noel Powell III was indicted on one count of first-degree murder, one count of second- degree unlawful possession of a weapon and one count of second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and currently remains in the Mercer County Correction Center.

According to police Smith, 23, of Lawrence, was seated at the bar at Applebee’s restaurant on Route 1 in Lawrence Township, when he was shot in the head at approximately 12:25 a.m. on November 14, 2017.

The suspect, later identified as Powell, then fled the property in a dark-colored SUV.

Authorities said Smith was pronounced dead at the scene. No other injuries were reported.

The Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the U.S. Marshals NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested Powell a few days later.

Assistant Prosecutor Michael Nardelli presented the case to the grand jury. Despite having been indicted, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.