Two charged in killing of New Jersey student

Reuters News
Posted: May 06, 2016 5:26 PM

By Gina Cherelus

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two New Jersey men were charged on Friday in the murder of a college student who was fatally shot this week at a Newark fraternity house, prosecutors said.

One suspect was under arrest and a second was still at large, they said.

Authorities said that Taquan Harris of Newark and Nafee Cotman of Irvington, New Jersey, have been charged with murder, felony murder, robbery, and burglary and weapons offenses.

Cotman, 18, was arrested in Irvington and bail was set at $1 million. Harris, 22, is still at large.

Joseph Micalizzi, 23, of Freehold, New Jersey, was shot shortly early on Tuesday morning during a burglary at New Jersey Institute of Technology's Tau Kappa Epsilon off-campus fraternity house.

The door of the TKE fraternity house was unlocked on the night of the break-in, according to NJIT officials.

The junior mechanical engineering student was confirmed dead at University Hospital in Newark two hours later, prosecutors said.

Micalizzi was in his second year at NJIT after transferring from Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, New Jersey. He made the dean's list last year.

Prosecutors said in a statement that the investigation is active while Harris remains missing.

The Essex County Sheriff Department is offering up to $10,000 for information on this case, and NJIT is also offering $10,000 for tips.

After the shooting, NJIT said law enforcement officials from the city of Newark, NJIT and Rutgers University's Newark campus were working together to heighten security in high-crime neighborhoods of Newark surrounding the schools.

NJIT has a total enrollment of 11,300, and only 1,800 students live on campus, raising risks for the majority of students who commute from home or off-campus residences, the school said.

(Reporting by Gina Cherelus; Editing by Sandra Maler)