Killer charged for 7-11 murder of Katherine Montenegro

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Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported today that an investigation by the Mercer County Homicide Task Force has led to the arrest of a Ewing man for last week’s murder of Katherine Montenegro at a Hamilton Township 7-Eleven.

Joshua Lopez, 23, was taken into custody in Ewing Township late Monday evening by members of U.S. Marshals NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force with assistance from the Mercer County Tactical Response Team, Mercer County Homicide Task Force and Mercer County Narcotics Task Force.  He is charged with one count of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, one count of second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon and one count of second-degree certain persons not to possess a firearm.  The prosecutor’s office has filed a motion to detain Lopez pending trial.

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On Tuesday, May 18, 2021, at approximately 1:50 a.m., Hamilton Police Division Patrol Units responded to a shooting in progress in the parking lot of the 7-Eleven on Lalor Street.  Officers arrived on scene and located the victim, identified as 23-year-old Katherine Montenegro of Trenton, lying in the parking lot near the storefront curb suffering a gunshot wound to the abdomen.  She was transported to the hospital where she was pronounced dead a short time later.

As part of the investigation conducted by the Mercer County Homicide Task Force, area video surveillance was reviewed, and witnesses were interviewed.  Detectives established that Lopez and the victim were acquaintances, and Lopez was identified as the suspected shooter. 

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The murder remains under investigation and anyone with information is asked to call HTF Detective Ahmad Mansur at (609) 989-6406.  Information can also be emailed to mchtftips@mercercounty.org.

Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.