Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

A Lingering Tragedy

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

A Lingering Tragedy

Article excerpt

LAST WEEK in a federal courtroom in Newark, there was enough locker room humor to fill a chapter in a sequel to "North Dallas Forty," the bawdy, fictional football bestseller from years ago. The title seems apt, though, since we are talking about "Bridgegate," and we are talking about two high-ranking officials once closely allied with Governor Christie, a staunch Cowboys fan.

Yes, the Bridgegate trial, with its cast of characters, its array of nicknames for star witness David Wildstein, and in recent days its raft of colorful language, has served up a good share of typical comical Jersey moments.

That's not been the case over in state Superior Court in Paterson, where a very different sort of trial began last week.

Indeed, there is no comedy in that courtroom. There is only drama, tragedy and utter depravity, if what prosecutors say is true.

This second trial is to decide the fate of three young men accused in connection with the death of Genesis Rincon.

It is no laughing matter. It is a crying matter, and a matter of reality in too many of our urban communities.

And not just for those who knew and loved Genesis, just 12 years old when she was fatally struck with a bullet to the head, seemingly out of nowhere, while riding her scooter on Rosa Parks Boulevard on Fourth of July weekend 2014.

It seems somehow fitting in the scheme of things in this state, in the midst of Christie's tough-love, "fair funding formula" tour for education, that attention is turned to the coarse language of career politicians, people at the top of New Jersey's power structure, while on the other far end of that spectrum, places such as the mean streets of Paterson's 4th Ward, working mothers struggle to survive and young people never get the chance to grow up.

On the first day of the trial of Jhymiere Moore, 21, Jeffrey Ellerbee, 22 and Marshae Anthony, 20 -- those charged in connection with the slaying -- prosecutors reconstructed a scene where a white van rolled up on Rosa Parks near Warren Street on a summer's night, and how several shots rang out. Paul DeGroot, Passaic County chief assistant prosecutor, told of how the child was hit in the head once with a bullet, and how, despite heroic efforts by police and paramedics, later died at St. …

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