MAYS LANDING — Three Pleasantville men pleaded guilty Tuesday to attempted murder charges stemming from a 2016 rolling shootout on the Atlantic City Expressway, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner said.
Wilbert Demosthenes, 28, Anthony Hicks, 27, and Devan Leggette, 23, pleaded guilty to first-degree attempted murder in Atlantic County Superior Court, Tyner said in a news release. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 8.
About 2:55 p.m. Aug. 29, 2016, witnesses saw shots fired between a gold Nissan Maxima that Hicks was driving and a white Ford Expedition at milepost 11.3 eastbound. A black Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck Leggette was driving with Demosthenes came from the far-right entrance ramp and pinned the Expedition between the Dodge and Maxima.
Leggette and Demosthenes began shooting into the right side of the Expedition, hitting all four occupants of the vehicle, who were identified as Yahshaun Stukes-Williams, Shaun Stukes, Lenardo Caro and a juvenile at the time with the initials M.T. After the shootout, the Expedition left the expressway at Exit 9 and stopped in the parking lot of the Wawa at the Airport Circle in Egg Harbor Township.
The Maxima left the expressway at Exit 7N and stopped on the Garden State Parkway after losing its front left wheel, according to the release. Rosemond Octavius, who was in the car with Hicks, was dead in the front passenger seat with gunshot wounds to the head and neck.
The Ram left the expressway at Exit 5 in Pleasantville and was found on the side of a house in the 200 block of East Oakland Avenue.
“The reality that these reckless and irresponsible individuals through their gun-play would jeopardize their lives and the lives of anyone utilizing the Atlantic City Expressway is absolutely outrageous,” Tyner said. “Not only did they kill a passenger in their vehicle, but they put anyone’s life in jeopardy that happened to be traveling on that day.”
The Prosecutor’s Major Crimes Unit, State Police and the Egg Harbor Township, Pleasantville and Atlantic City police departments investigated. Chief Assistant Prosecutor Erik Bergman and Assistant Prosecutor Erika Halayko represented the state.