MAYS LANDING — One of five men indicted last year in a 2011 Atlantic City homicide pleaded not guilty in court Wednesday.
Jason Hall, 22, faces charges that include murder, felony murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the Nov. 20, 2011, killing of Corleone Hayes.
Hayes, 29, was gunned down inside an apartment building on the 1300 block of Baltic Avenue at about 8:45 p.m., just 45 minutes after 17-year-old Darren Holcomb-Tally was fatally shot in the city’s Back Maryland section. No arrests have been made in that killing.
Haneef Graves, 29, of Atlantic City, was arrested two days after the killing, but Chief Assistant Prosecutor John Maher told the judge at the time it was a conspiracy.
Hall and three others were charged in February. On Dec. 12, a grand jury indicted them on the murder and conspiracy charges — along with second-degree armed burglary, first-degree gang criminality and weapons offenses.
On Wednesday, Superior Court Judge Max Baker asked Maher if the state had made a plea offer. He said that, in such cases, the state usually waits for one of the co-defendants to offer a plea, but none has. In fact, he said the defendants have indicated they want a speedy trial and are not looking to plead.
At their first appearance Feb. 22, co-defendant Carlos Woodall inquired about the right to a speedy trial.
“Yes, you have that right,” Superior Court Judge Michael Donio told him.
“As soon as possible,” Woodall replied, with co-defendants Hall, James Clegg and Hakeem Ceasar agreeing.
The state has not indicated who is believed to have been the shooter, or if more than one of the men is accused of shooting Hayes.
All five have juvenile criminal histories. They are expected back in court Monday for a status hearing. Each remains jailed on $1 million cash bail.
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