HOPEWELL — Two teenagers have been arrested in connection with last week’s fatal shooting of 20-year-old Phillip Urban, Mercer County District Attorney Angela J. Onofre and Hopewell Police Chief James Rosso.
A 16-year-old male from Pennington, New Jersey and a 17-year-old male from Hopewell, New Jersey were taken into custody this afternoon by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office. The teenagers are accused of murder, aggravated murder, robbery and possession of a weapon. They will be taken to the Middlesex County Youth Center pending a detention hearing.
The charges stem from an investigation by the Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the Hopewell Police Department. At approximately 7:00 p.m. on Dec. 17, Hopewell Police responded to the Hopewell Valley Nature Preserve off Harbarton-Woodsville Road. Officers found a white Mercedes C300 on the trail with a man slumped in the driver’s seat. The victim, later identified as Urban, 20, of Manalapan, was taken to Capital Health Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead a short time later from a gunshot wound.
The investigation revealed that the juveniles planned to steal a quarter pound of marijuana for $800 from Urbano. They are both believed to have been involved in the preparation, killing and concealment. Urban was lured to a gravel entrance to the preserve, where he was robbed of marijuana, then shot.
Since the accused are minors, no further identification is being made. The Mercer County District Attorney’s Office will review the case to determine if it is appropriate to seek a waiver in adult court.