By: Richard L. Smith
Authorities in Mercer County reported today that two teenage males have been arrested for last week’s deadly shooting of a Pennsylvania college athlete.
Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri said a 16-year-old male from Pennington, and a 17-year-old male from Hopewell were taken into custody this afternoon at the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.
The charges are the result of an investigation by the Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the Hopewell Township Police Department.
According to Prosecutor Onofri, at approximately 7 p.m. on Saturday, December 17, Hopewell police responded to the Hopewell Valley Nature Preserve off of Harbourton-Woodsville Road.
Upon arrival, Prosecutor Onofri said officers located a white Mercedes C300 on a trail with a male slumped over in the driver’s seat.
The victim, later identified as Mr. Philip Urban, 20, of Manalapan, was transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center, where doctors pronounced him dead from a gunshot wound a short time later.
Both defendants are charged with murder, felony murder, robbery and weapons offenses. They were lodged at the Middlesex County Youth Detention Center pending detention hearings.
The investigation revealed that the juveniles planned to rob Urban of a quarter-pound of marijuana for $800.
Prosecutor Onofri said both defendants participated in the preparation, murder and coverup. Urban was lured to the gravel entry to the nature preserve, where he was robbed of the marijuana, then shot and killed.
Because the defendants are juveniles, any further identification is being withheld. The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office will screen the case to determine if it is appropriate to seek a waiver to adult court.
Despite being charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.