Camden, N.J. – Acting Prosecutor Jill Mayer today announced that the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office will file a motion to dismiss the indictment against Kevin Baker and Sean Washington and retract its notice of intent to appeal this case to the New Jersey Supreme Court.
After full consideration of the recent Appellate Division opinion reversing the convictions of Baker and Washington and granting them new trials, the Prosecutor’s Office will not re-try the defendants for the murders of Rodney Turner and Margaret Wilson. This decision was made in consultation with the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability within the Attorney General’s Office.
On January 28, 1995, 35-year-old Turner and 40-year-old Wilson were fatally shot outside the Roosevelt Manor Apartments in Camden. In 1996, Baker and Washington were convicted of murder and other related charges by a jury and sentenced to life in prison. Over the past 25 years, the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office has successfully defended the convictions through multiple layers of state and federal appeals. While the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office disagrees with the Appellate Division’s basis for a new trial, the Office respects the decision of the court. Notably, the Appellate Division did not declare Baker and Washington “actually innocent” and did not find error with the initial prosecution of this matter or the majority of the rulings made by the trial court during the trial and post-conviction relief hearings.
In deciding to dismiss, the Prosecutor’s Office considered the totality of the circumstances, including the passage of time and the impact it would have on re-trying the defendants and proving the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Considering our mandate to pursue the interests of justice at all times, retrial after this length of time is not feasible in this particular case.