FREEHOLD – An Asbury Park man pleaded guilty to three charges in connection with a shooting at a city block party last year. The shooting left one juvenile injured after the man fired into a crowd of people following a dispute with another party-goer, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
Josiphiah Fowlkes, 23, of Washington Avenue in Asbury Park, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of second degree Aggravated Assault, second degree Possession of a Handgun for Unlawful Purpose, and second degree Certain Person not to Have Weapons. The guilty plea was accepted before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Joseph Oxley. Sentencing is scheduled for July 27, 2018, before Judge Oxley.
Fowlkes admitted he was responsible for firing multiple shots into a crowd of 30-40 people at a Washington Avenue block party on May 31, 2017. One of those shots struck a 15-year-old female who was treated and released at a local hospital.
Asbury Park Police patrols were in the area of Washington Avenue at approximately 11:05 p.m. when they heard several gunshots in the immediate area. When officers arrived in the area of the Washington Village Apartment complex on Washington Avenue, they found the juvenile with a gunshot wound to the leg and discovered a vehicle located in a driveway was also struck by gunfire. The Washington Village security post booth was also struck.
The following day, on June 1, 2017, while investigating the shooting incident, police made contact with Fowlkes. As a result of the interaction, it was discovered that Fowlkes was in possession of a stolen handgun. As a result, he was taken into custody and charged.
Fowlkes now faces up to 20 years in New Jersey state prison, on the second degree Aggravated Assault, subject to the provisions of the No Early Release Act, which requires that he serve 85 percent of the sentence before being considered for release on parole. The weapons offense also comes with a potential 20-year prison term, subject to the Graves Act, which requires that he serve a mandatory minimum of one-third of the sentence or 6.5 years, whichever is greater. For the Certain Persons charge, Fowlkes faces up to 20 years in state prison, subject to a mandatory minimum of 5 years without parole.
The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Competello.
Fowlkes is represented by Carlos Diaz-Cobo, Esq., of Freehold.