Superior court of new jersey

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Mr. Ross




Essex County: Law Division


Indictment No. 214121463-15

Thomas Carter,




On July 5, 2015, Thomas Wade Carter, age 18, went to a party at the home of his girlfriend, Gail Duran. Witnesses at the party report that almost everyone there, including the suspect, consumed a lot of beer. A fight broke out at about 3 a.m. Witnesses could not identify everyone who was involved in the fight, but Carter was clubbed over the head with a beer bottle by another guest named Oscar Hanks. Friends took Carter to the hospital for treatment. Five stitches were required to close the wound.

On Tuesday, July 6, at about 5 p.m., Carter visited the apartment of a friend, Joel Robertson. Robertson stated that Carter was still angry about being hit during the fight the night before. Robertson also said that Carter remarked, "I'm going to get that guy once and for all. That man is going to pay in a big way." Carter also asked Robertson how to work one of his shotguns. Robertson is a hunter who owns several guns.

At about 7 p.m. on July 6, Ms. Karen Hanks was sitting on her front porch when she saw her son, Oscar, walking down the street with his new girlfriend Brittany Jones. Ms. Hanks then noticed a black car driving slowly on the street in front of her house. As the car reached Oscar and Brittany she saw a long gun barrel pointing out of its rear window right at Oscar and Brittany. Before she could say or do anything, Ms. Hanks stated, there was a loud blast and Oscar collapsed. Ms. Hanks and Brittany rushed to help Oscar. Paramedics were called, but Oscar was pronounced dead on arrival at Central Receiving Hospital. Ms. Hanks stated that she had no idea who killed her son and could offer no description of the occupants of the black car except that she thought the driver was a young woman.

That evening at 10:05 p.m., there was an anonymous phone call to the police station. The caller said, "If you want to know who murdered Oscar Hanks, you better check out what happened at Gail Duran's party last night." After interviewing a number of witnesses at the party, including Joel Robertson and Gail Duran, the police arrested Thomas Wade Carter at 11:45 p.m. on July 7 and charged him with the murder of Oscar Hanks.

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