Newark – Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens, II, and Newark Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose announced today that four people have been arrested and charged in connection with the murder of Mr. Michael Wyche, 30, of Newark.
Police say on May 5, Mr. Al-Fatin Grant, 22, of Newark, a Correctional Police Officer employed by the New Jersey Department of Corrections has been charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder and hindering apprehension.
Grant was arrested following an investigation led by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force, which includes detectives from the Newark Police Department.
In addition, the State Police and the Bloomfield Police assisted in the investigation.
As the investigation continued, three other defendants were arrested.
Police say on May 29, Scott Banks, 32, of Irvington was arrested. He is charged with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an illegal purpose and eluding.
Banks was arrested by the Newark Police Department Criminal Intelligence Unit.
On May 30, a series of search warrants were executed in Newark and Irvington.
Trevon Ellis, 27, and Ahmad Fields, 31, both of Newark, were also taken into custody during that operation, which was conducted by members of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Task Force, the FBI Violent Crime and Fugitive Task Force, and Newark Police Department.
Ellis and Fields are charged with conspiracy to commit murder.
Acting Essex County Prosecutor Stephens said, “The Essex County Prosecutor’s investigators and Assistant Prosecutors did a tremendous job identifying and charging these individuals; the charges against Al-Fatin Grant, a member of law enforcement, are worthy of special recognition.
In these times, law enforcement is facing intense scrutiny. Any allegation of a violation of the public trust is more damaging today than ever.’’
Newark Public Safety Director Ambrose added, “We are grateful these suspects are in custody as these arrests give our residents an added measure of safety within the community.’’
The murder of Wyche occurred on March 27, at approximately 1:30 pm. He was shot in the parking lot of 72 Hayes Street Newark, the New Community Corporation Housing Complex.
During the fatal shooting of Wyche, a second man was shot but survived.
Grant has been suspended from the Department of Corrections pending the outcome of the criminal prosecution.
Additional assistance was provided by New Jersey Department of Corrections – Special Investigations Division.
The investigation is active and ongoing.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office tips line at 1-877-TIPS-4EC or 1-877-847-7432. Calls will be kept confidential.