BRIDGETON — A Vineland man charged in the August murder of Millville Midget Football League coach Joseph “JoJo” Jones will be held in jail until trial, a judge ruled Friday.

Will El-Bey, 22, of Vineland, who is charged with homicide and conspiracy to commit homicide, was remanded to the Burlington County jail after his detention hearing before Superior Court Judge Michael Silvanio.

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.

Assistant Prosecutor Charles Wettstein outlined evidence from the investigation, including recordings from wiretaps, while arguing for detention.

“Part of the allegation is that the defendant paid one of the co-defendants to come up with an alibi for both himself as well as co-defendant Eugene Cosby,” Wettstein said, adding that El-Bey and Cosby were recorded talking about disassembling a weapon.

Cosby, 42, of Malaga, Gloucester County, is also charged with homicide and conspiracy to commit homicide in the case. Cosby’s lawyer, Wayne Powell, requested to adjourn Cosby’s detention hearing until Wednesday so he can review discovery in the case, which Silvanio granted.

Through the investigation, a part of a disassembled AR-15 was recovered in Malaga Lake, Wettstein said, as well as a 9-mm Glock from El-Bey’s home. The gun matched the shell casings found at the murder scene, but the state is still waiting on ballistics to confirm.

El-Bey has no criminal record as an adult or as a juvenile, his attorney, Diane Ruberton, said while arguing for his release.

“He is not a danger to flee the community,” she said, explaining El-Bey’s family, education and work tie him to the area.

After Silvanio’s decision, a few of Jones’ supporters from the dozen assembled in the court gallery let out a cheer.

Ruberton asked for El-Bey to be moved from Burlington to a closer jail, which Silvanio said she had to take up with the Department of Corrections. Ruberton said he was housed in Burlington for his well-being and safety.

If convicted, El-Bey, who is also charged with obstruction, hindering, conspiracy to hinder and witness tampering, faces a possible sentence of life in prison.

Two other co-defendants in the case were released from pretrial detention earlier this week.

Genea Hughes-Lee, 34, of Malaga, and Tyrell Hart, 22, of Vineland, are charged with conspiracy to hinder apprehension, hindering apprehension, obstruction and two counts of false reports to law enforcement.

El-Bey, Hughes-Lee and Hart are slated for a pre-indictment conference Dec. 6 before Judge Cristen P. D’Arrigo.

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.

Download The Press of Atlantic City App

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

PLEASE BE ADVISED: Soon we will no longer integrate with Facebook for story comments. The commenting option is not going away, however, readers will need to register for a FREE site account to continue sharing their thoughts and feedback on stories. If you already have an account (i.e. current subscribers, posting in obituary guestbooks, for submitting community events), you may use that login, otherwise, you will be prompted to create a new account.

Load comments