BRIDGETON — A Superior Court judge will decide Thursday if two men charged in the murder of 9-year-old Jennifer “Chikis” Trejo will remain in jail until trial.

Michael L. Elliott, 25, of North Laurel Street, and Charles Gamble, 18, of Salem, are scheduled to appear at 9 a.m. before Judge Robert G. Malestein for a detention hearing at the Cumberland County Courthouse.

Michael Elliot was first to appear in court Thursday morning. His detention hearing has been adjourned until 10 a.m. Wednesday before Superior Court Judge Cristen D’Arrigo. His lawyer, Teresa Ganim, said she has not received discovery yet.

Charles Gamble appeared in court around 11:30 a.m. Like Elliot, Gamble's detention hearing has been adjourned until 10 a.m. Wednesday. His judge will be Cristen D’Arrigo so that Brian O'Malley, Gamble’s attorney, can review 10-20 disks of discovery.

Elliott and Gamble, as well as Leroy Frazier III, 20, of Irving Avenue, were arrested and charged Friday with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder and weapons offenses in the shooting death July 17, when Jennifer was killed by a bullet that pierced her bedroom wall as she slept.

Elliott pleaded guilty to second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon — a handgun — in 2013, and was sentenced to five years in jail, according to court records, but was eligible for parole after serving one year. It is unclear when he was released. A prohibited weapons and devices charge connected to the same 2012 arrest was dismissed through a plea deal, records show.

Frazier is scheduled to appear for a detention hearing at 1:30 p.m. Friday before Malestein. All three suspects are currently held in Cumberland County jail without bail.

Jennifer was pronounced dead at Inspira Medical Center shortly after police responded to the 12:30 a.m. shots-fired call at her house on Elmer Street. Authorities said at the time they believed a person or number of people fired several shots from the area of Elmer and Walnut streets, striking four vehicles and shooting through a rear wall of the girl’s home.

Jennifer’s death was the first of a few high-profile incidents of violence in Cumberland County this summer. Youth football coach Joseph “JoJo” Jones, 37, was shot and killed in the parking lot of Lakeside Middle School in Millville on Aug. 9, and two days later, Erica S. McNair, 44, was found with a gunshot wound to the head on the front porch of her Bridgeton home.

Contact: 609-272-7241 MBilinski@pressofac.com Twitter @ACPressMollyB

Staff Writer

My beat is public safety, following police and crime. I started in January 2018 here at the Press covering Egg Harbor and Galloway townships. Before that, I worked at the Reading Eagle in Reading, Pa., covering crime and writing obituaries.

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