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Paterson man was beaten to death after he shot someone in the head, says defense attorney

18-year-old Nicolas Reyes allegedly shot a man in the head. Four of the victim’s friends chased the alleged shooter down and brutally beat him, punching, kicking, and stomping on his head, leading to his death.

One of the four, Tyheem T. Jones, 37-year-old, of Hawthorne, has been charged with murder. He was initially charged with attempted murder, but the charges were upgraded after Reyes’ death.

“I f–ked him up,” Jones allegedly told police. During the interview, police saw Jones had blood on his sneakers.

Police found Jones pacing back and forth in the middle of Auburn Street near Godwin Avenue while breathing heavily and sweating profusely at about 4 a.m. on August 27.

By September 15, police arrested Jones and a juvenile suspect for the attack.

“If you look at the matter, you see a brutal beating, a brutal jump of a person that led to his demise. But it wasn’t just a person beating a person for no reason,” said Jones’ attorney Mark Bailey during a detention hearing on September 15. “He [Jones] was talking to this friend, someone shoots his friend in the head, and the guys from the neighborhood run after this guy, and they beat him. Now when they beat him, my client is not the only one beating him. It’s a jump.”

Bailey made the argument to suggest Jones is not a threat to the community, a standard used to determine whether to release someone accused of committing a crime from jail.

“I do not dispute the factual allegations that this was in response to a shooting incident which occurred prior to the assault,” said Passaic County chief assistant prosecutor Jason Statuto. A 31-year-old Paterson man was shot on Godwin Avenue and Summer Street just before the attack.

Reyes was chased several blocks after allegedly shooting the victim. He was caught and beaten for over 13 minutes by Jones and three other suspects, said Statuto in court. The attack was caught on surveillance camera.

Jones was allegedly “the main aggressor” in the beating, said Statuto. Jones allegedly pistol-whipped Reyes, who was on the ground for much of the 13 minutes.

Reyes is seen being punched and kicked in the head.

Jones is allegedly “seen jumping on the victim’s head with two feet as he’s leaning against the car,” said Statuto.

Bailey told the court his client has been trying to stay out of trouble.

“Since 2016 to 2020 he hasn’t been in trouble,” said Bailey. On May 14, 2010, Jones was given a six-year prison sentence for aggravated assault in another case.

Passaic County Superior Court judge Donna Gallucio pointed out Jones has another aggravated assault conviction from 2019.

Statuto said Jones has four disorderly conduct and eight felony convictions. Among the felonies are aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault, and terroristic threats. He was on probation when he allegedly took part in the deadly beating.

Bailey said Jones has two children that he supports. Jones has worked at a kiosk at the Paramus mall, he said.

Jones could face life in prison.

Citing possible risk of flight and witness intimidation, the judge ordered Jones be detained at the Passaic County Jail.

Jones has been held at the jail since his arrest last month.

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