With 'vicious cycle' in Newark, father of murdered son asks, 'Where does it all end?

By Bill Wichert | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
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on February 10, 2015

(L-R) Damiar Pendergrass, 19, and Raquan Langford, 20, both of Newark, who have been indicted in the fatal shooting of Reginald Terry Jr. on Dec. 21, 2013 appear in Superior Court. Newark, NJ 2/10/15

 

NEWARK — Reginald Terry, Sr. said he is angry about the 2013 fatal shooting in Newark that left his 18-year-old son dead.

But after watching two young men appear in court today on charges of murdering his son, Terry also said he feels sorry for them, given "what they have to live with for the rest of their lives."

"They look like good kids," Terry said in an interview outside the Newark courtroom, adding that "I just pray for them and their family."

"Where does it all end?" Terry added. "It's a vicious cycle that this city, the whole city, is going through now."

Terry sat with family and friends today in the courtroom and watched as Raquan Langford, 20, and Damiar Pendergrass, 19, both of Newark, pleaded not guilty to charges in the Dec. 21, 2013 shooting death of Reginald Terry, Jr.

Langford and Pendergrass were indicted last month on charges of conspiracy, murder, unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and aggravated assault.

Both men remain in custody at the Essex County Correctional Facility in lieu of $750,000 bail each.

A 15-year-old boy pleaded guilty last year in juvenile court to a weapons offense related to Terry's murder.

As part of the same plea agreement, that juvenile also pleaded guilty to the fatal shooting of three teenagers on Christmas night in 2013. In that case, the juvenile gunned down Zainee Hailey, Kasson Morman and Abdul Frazier on Schley Street in Newark. Hailey, 13, and Morman, 15, died soon afterwards, and Frazier, 14, died from his injuries a few weeks later.

The juvenile later received a 40-year prison sentence.

Terry's murder occurred four days before that Christmas night shooting.

In Terry's shooting, authorities have said he was attending a party in downtown Newark when he was shot during a confrontation at about 12:30 a.m. outside the party in the vicinity of Washington and Market streets.

Terry - who graduated from University High School in Newark and played football with the team at Central High School - had been studying political science at New Jersey City University in Jersey City when he was killed, according to his father. He also was working for FedEx, his father said.

His father described Terry as a scholar who liked to help people.

"His smile filled up the room," Reginald Terry, Sr. said. "I couldn't ask for a better kid."

The father added, "I can't do nothing to bring my son back...I just have to let justice take its course."

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