Teen charged in fatal graduation shooting

January 20, 2009 12:09:34 PM PST
An Essex County Grand Jury returned a four-count indictment against a Newark teen for allegedly fatally shooting her neighborhood acquaintance at a graduation party.Essex County Prosecutor Paula Dow announced that 19-year-old Nicole Guyette has been charged with fatally shooting 18-year-old Sujeiti Ocasio on the evening of the victim's graduation party at her home.

Guyette was charged with murder, aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. She remains in the Essex County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail. If convicted of the charges, she faces a minimum of 30 years in state prison.

According to Essex County Assistant Prosecutor William Neafsey, on June 27, 2008, just after midnight, the defendant allegedly shot Ocasio in the neck during a dispute outside the victim's home on Lincoln Avenue in the North Ward section of Newark.

A friend of Ocasio's, 15-year-old Jasmine Perez, who was standing behind the victim, was struck in the chest by the same bullet. Perez was treated and released at a nearby hospital. The shooting happened just hours after Ocasio graduated from Barringer High School.

Guyette, who lived across the street from the victim, had dropped out of Barringer and had several prior disputes with the victim. Guyette turned herself in to an Irvington clergyman the following evening.

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