After a three-month investigation by authorities, five individuals were arrested and charged with the August 24, 2003 murder of Garmair O. Brown of River Edge. Brown, 21, was stabbed to death on the sidewalk in front of an Exxon gas station on the corner of 60th Street and Broadway in West New York after the Dominican Day Parade.
Chief of Investigations for the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Jack Hill had stated at the time, “The victim… was stabbed five times in the chest with a metal instrument. At this time, we are not sure if it was a screwdriver or a knife. The medical examiner hasn’t been able to ascertain yet what was used.”
While authorities weren’t clear on the murder weapon, they were confident enough in their investigation to arrest and charge a total of five individuals with murder last week.
According to Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio, two of the individuals were already incarcerated on unrelated charges when they were charged with participation in the August killing.
The list of the charged is as follows, starting with the accused who are already in jail.
•Edwin Guillen, 18, of Brooklyn, New York. Guillen is currently a prisoner in the Rikers Island Correctional Facility.
•Alexander Cruz Colon, 22, also of Brooklyn, New York, currently a prisoner at the Hudson County Jail in Kearny.
•Ricardo Ozorio, 22 also of Brooklyn. Ozorio was arrested, according to DeFazio, at his home in Brooklyn in the early morning hours of Tuesday.
•Pedro Quesada, 20, of Brooklyn.
•Juan Sanchez Ricardo, 38, the oldest of the group. Ricardo was arrested on Tuesday of last week in Providence, Rhode Island.
According to DeFazio, the investigation, a joint effort between the West New York Police Department, the Union City Police Department, the New York City Police Department and the New Jersey State Police Gang Unit, showed that the killing was gang-related.
Said DeFazio in an interview last week, “This is, we believe, gang-related. It was a Dominican street gang.” While DeFazio declined to name what specific gang the five belonged to, he did confirm that the gang is Brooklyn-based, but has members in the North Hudson area.
Said DeFazio, “From the beginning, the gang angle is something we pursued. Although, Garmair Brown was not the intended victim.”
According to a published article at the time, there was another victim, a 16-year-old West New York resident that who was stabbed in the arm.
The youth stated in the article that he, Brown and other friends were sitting on the steps of a building on 60th Street when a car pulled up and another group of youths emerged and began yelling. The two groups apparently met, and during the melee, Brown was stabbed repeatedly.
DeFazio reiterated that Brown was apparently not the subject of an intended killing, but got in the way sticking up for a friend whom the gang was after.
Said DeFazio, “Brown stepped in to try to help his friend and was killed for his trouble.”
DeFazio also stated that although these arrests have been made, the case is by no means closed. “We expect to make more arrests in the near future,” said DeFazio.