Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens, II, and Newark Public Safety Director Brian A. O’Hara announced today that Mr. Wesley Jean-Marie, 32, of Valley Stream, New York has been arrested and charged with the murder of 21-year old Ms. Leeana Cottle of Newark who was fatally shot on July 20 in Newark.
Officials said Cottle was shot on the 200 block of South 10th Street at approximately 11:30 pm.
She was transported to University Hospital in Newark where she was pronounced dead at 11: 50 pm on July 20.
According to police, Jean-Marie is charged with murder, unlawful possession of a weapon, and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose in connection with her death.
Sources close to the investigation told RLS Media that Cottle stepped in between a violent encounter between her female friend and the woman’s male acquaintance when the suspect became furious and shot Cottle dead at the location.
He is currently being held in New York awaiting extradition back to New Jersey. Jean-Marie was apprehended without incident in Valley Stream, N.Y.
The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force, which includes detectives from the Newark Police Department, is handling the investigation. Prosecutor Stephens thanked law enforcement in New York for their assistance.
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.