BRIDGETON — Six people have been indicted in the August murder of Millville Midget Football League coach Joseph “JoJo” Jones.
Eugene Cosby, 43, and Genea Hughes-Lee, 34, both of Malaga, Gloucester County; Will El-Bey, 22, Tyrell Hart, 23, and Hakeem Smith, 23, all of Vineland; and Clifton D. Bailey, 27, of Camden, were indicted Feb. 20 in the fatal shooting.
Jones, 37, was shot at 8:15 p.m. Aug. 9 in the parking lot of Lakeside Middle School as athletes, coaches and parents were leaving after a Midget League practice. Jones’ 7-year-old son, an athlete on the team, was at the practice where his father was killed.
The half-dozen co-defendants were also indicted on conspiracy, weapons, attempted murder, obstruction, hindering, tampering, bribery and fictitious reports charges, according to an indictment list from the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office released Wednesday.
Cosby, El-Bey, Hughes-Lee and Hart were arrested in October after a two-month investigation into what officials called a targeted attack. Bailey was arrested in November. It was unclear when Smith was arrested.
Prosecutors contend Cosby, Hughes-Lee and two others drove to the school wearing masks in two separate cars, an Acura TL and a Pontiac Grand Prix.
Occupants of the Pontiac exchanged gunfire with an Atlantic County prosecutor’s detective while fleeing via Route 55 North, authorities said.
The sergeant wrote down the vehicle’s license plate number before it disappeared from sight, Senior Prosecutor Elizabeth Vogelsong said, leading investigators to a number of witnesses who revealed El-Bey and Cosby had obtained the plate and placed it on the rear of the Pontiac.
Investigators received approval to tap Cosby’s and El-Bey’s phones, according to an affidavit of probable cause. Messages and conversations showed the pair discussing disposing of the weapon in a lake in the days following the killing, Vogelsong said.
The tap also revealed phone calls were made from Cosby’s phone to Bailey’s before Jones was shot and after the car chase, according to the document, and that Bailey was in Cumberland County at the time of the murder.
Investigators learned that Bailey’s paramour had a 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix, which was sold soon after the homicide, according to the affidavit.
During an Oct. 10 search of Cosby’s and El-Bey’s homes, police found large quantities of heroin, drug distribution paraphernalia and evidence linking Cosby to a dog-fighting ring. In El-Bey’s residence, investigators found a Glock 9mm similar to shell casings recovered at the school, the affidavit says.
Hughes-Lee and Hart lied to cops to throw investigators off Cosby and El-Bey’s trail, prosecutors said.
Hart told officers he was driving the Acura TL that day and was with Smith at the time of the murder, according to an affidavit. Smith told officers the same story.
In addition, Smith “received compensation” for helping Cosby and El-Bey with “attempts to conceal their involvement in a homicide investigation.”
Cosby, El-Bey and Bailey are in jail, according to court documents, while Hart, Smith and Hughes-Lee have been released pending trial.
All six co-defendants are slated to appear Monday in Cumberland County Superior Court.