NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) --Police have made an arrest in connection with the murders of a man and a woman who were fatally shot inside an apartment in Newark late Saturday night in front of three young children.
Jeffrey Holland, 27, of East Orange, was arrested and charged in the shootings of 23-year-old Ashley Jones, and her boyfriend, 28-year-old Jarrell Marshall.
Holland was the father of Jones's 1-year-old girl and 4-year-old boy. The other child, a 3-year-old girl, was Marshall's child with another woman.
Holland is also charged in the strangulation death of 21-year-old Tiniquah Rouse of Newark on Jan. 29. She was found dead in the bathtub of her apartment by a family friend.
"A family friend who was visiting her noticed that the door to her apartment was ajar, went into the apartment and found her partially submerged in the bathtub," said Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray. "She had been strangled and murdered."
Her five-month-old son was later found in a closet in the home unharmed.
Holland is being held on a combined bail of $2.5 million, including $1.5 million in the murders of Marshall and Jones, who had a restraining order against him.
We asked Murray what vulnerable women can do in cases of domestic violence.
"Your question is a good one, and we would urge anybody who is experiencing domestic violence to reach out to the Essex County Family Justice Center for direction and support," she said.
"It was bound to happen, she was shaking, and she was scared," says a friend of Jones who did not want to be identified.
The friend says Jones desperately tried to get away from her ex-boyfriend. She adds that he would often show up to the apartment, and was verbally and physically abusive.
"She was trying to get away - she climbed through the window at 7 in the morning. Her eye was black and blue, she was saying she got a restraining order," says the friend.
The Essex County Prosecutor's office tells Eyewitness News that the three children are okay, and are either with family members or Child Protection.