YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A judge in Hackensack today ordered that a Massachusetts man charged with felony murder in the slaying of a 24-year-old Fort Lee high-rise tenant remain held on $2 million cash bail.
Robert R. Martinez, 26, also was ordered not to have any contact with the girlfriend or relatives of Jordan Johnson, whose body was found in the trunk of his car on a Bronx street following an extensive search.
Martinez, of Broadchester, MA listened intently as Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Danielle Grootenboer read charges that include felony murder, eluding police, robbery and burglary during today’s first court appearance.
The judge also granted a request by Grootenboer for a bail-source hearing if he is able to raise the cash. He’d also have to surrender his passport and any firearms he might own.
Authorities said Martinez and co-defendant Andre Jamal “Boogie” Thompson, 25, lured Johnson to an apartment that Thompson sometimes used in Fort Lee — where he was killed and his keys and cellphone taken on Jan. 14.
Johnson’s phone was used to send text messages to lure his girlfriend, Megan Faulkner, from the 12th-floor high-rise apartment at the Carriage House on 15th Street that she shared with him to a supposed meeting in Harlem, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli previously said.
Meanwhile, Martinez and Thompson fled the state, he said.
Faulkner called police after she returned to find the apartment ransacked and jewelry, cash and other valuables missing. Fort Lee police then issued an alert for Johnson and his car.
CLIFFVIEW PILOT was the first to report that Johnson’s black 2013 BMW 550 Gran Turismo was found at 1:35 p.m. the next day in the Bronx, with his body in the trunk, after a police license plate reader registered a hit on the missing vehicle.
Johnson had been strangled, authorities said.
Law enforcement sources with direct knowledge of the investigation told CLIFFVIEW PILOT that detectives were exploring an ID theft ring’s relationship to Johnson. They released a surveillance video of a person wanted in connection with Johnson’s killing.
Timestamped at 2:45 a.m. the day he was found, it shows the person in a blue, fur-lined hooded jacket, gray jeans and dark-colored sneakers holding something and looking back while walking away from Johnson’s car on East 211 Street and Tryon Avenue.
Authorities arrested Thompson on Feb. 4. He has remained in custody at Prince George’s County Correctional Center in Maryland pending extradition.
Martinez was located and interviewed by detectives in Worcester, MA the day Thompson was arrested. His investigators subsequently learned that he “was not truthful in his account” to them, the prosecutor said.
Others charged with peripheral roles — specifically: hindering the investigation — include Courtney Evelyn, 30, Dyrol Evelyn, 25 and 24-year-old Diana Escotto, all of New York City, Molinelli said. Courtney and Dyrol are brother and sister, he said.
STORY / PHOTO: CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter Mary K. Miraglia
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