Opening statements tomorrow in case of man awaiting trial 8 years
JERSEY CITY — Opening statements are slated for Tuesday in the murder trial of a Jersey City man who has been jailed for more than eight years while he awaits his day in court.
Anthony Shuler was 19 years old when he was arrested following a motor vehicle stop in Clifton on charges that he fatally shot Darren Edwards on June 28, 2010 at the corner of Duncan and Olean avenues in Jersey City.
Opening statements for Shuler’s trial will be presented by the prosecution and defense in the courtroom of Hudson County Superior Court Judge Patrick Arre in the Hudson County Administration Building in Jersey City.
In February 2016, Shuler’s case became complicated when the state charged Robert Dawson, Eric Dawson and Golden Williamson with tampering and conspiracy to murder two witnesses who were expected to testify during Shuler’s trial.
Two months later, the state obtained a superseding indictment against the three men, in addition to Shuler, whose murder charge was included in the new indictment. That meant the four would be tried together.
The delay in Shuler’s trial was the result of numerous pretrial motions, hearings, an appeal of a judge’s ruling, the witness tampering allegations, the pregnancy of a witness and other factors. His first trial date originally scheduled for June 2015.
The witness tampering charges stemmed from recorded telephone conversations Shuler had while in jail. Because a reference was made to Shuler’s attorney during the phone calls, the state moved to disqualify her from representing him.
The trial judge agreed with the prosecution and the state appellate court upheld the trial judge’s decision after it was appealed. That took more time. Over the years, the defense filed motions for a speedy trial a few times.
Although it was expected that Shuler would be tried with his codefendants, that too has changed.
Robert Dawson pleaded guilty on Sept 17 to the second-degree crime of conspiracy and witness tampering to cause false testimony. He is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 9, according to state judiciary records.
His twin, Eric Dawson, pleaded guilty to second-degree witness tampering to cause false testimony on the same day and is set to be sentenced on Oct. 26, the records indicate.
The charges against Williamson were dismissed at the request of the prosecution on Sept. 19, according to the records.
Shuler, who is now being tried alone, faces 30 years to life in state prison if convicted of murder.