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Man Arrested for 2020 Franklin Township Murder

Franklin Township (Somerset)

 Officials announced the arrest of Juaquan S. Fitzgerald, age 33, of Hamilton Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the homicide of Duane S. Banks, 27, Park Street, Franklin Township, which occurred on April 27, 2020, in Franklin Township.

According to police, on Wednesday, April 29, 2020, at approximately 6:38 p.m., Franklin Township Police responded to a suspicious activity call at a residence on Park Street, Franklin Township, New Jersey. 

Responding Officers made contact with individuals near the residence who relayed to officers that they had located a body in the wooded area towards the rear of the residence.  Officers confirmed the presence of a deceased individual and secured the area as a crime scene.

Detectives from the Franklin Township Police Department, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, the Crime Scene Investigations Unit, and Investigator’s from the New Jersey Northern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office responded to conduct the investigation. 

Authorities say, an autopsy performed by the Regional Medical Examiner’s Office positively identified the victim as Duane S. Banks.  The matter was deemed a homicide.

A lengthy follow-up investigation conducted by the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit and the Franklin Township Police Department ultimately resulted in the arrest of Juaquan S. Fitzgerald on Wednesday, August 31, 2022, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

Defendant Fitzgerald was arrested with the assistance of the Philadelphia Police Department without incident.  Defendant Fitzgerald was charged with 1st degree Murder, 2nd degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose,  2nd degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, and 2nd degree Unlawfully Disturbing Human Remains.  Defendant Fitzgerald was lodged at Curran Fromhold Correctional Facility in Philadelphia where he will remain lodged pending an extradition hearing in this matter.

Prosecutor McDonald would like to thank members of the Philadelphia Police Department and the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office for their assistance in this investigation.

Prosecutor McDonald, Chief Fodor, and Director Maeweather request anyone with information relating to the homicide to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100 or the Franklin Township Police Department at (732) 873-5533 or via the STOPit app.