Keyshawn Malone, Key Defendant in Fairview Card Game Slaying, is First to Go to Trial
By Mary K. Miraglia
HACKENSACK, N.J. (April 17, 2017) — Four thugs from Irvington and West New York drove north to Fairview on a May night three years ago to rob what they had been told was a regular, high-stakes illegal card game in a Fairview apartment. What could go wrong?
No. 1 — It was a small stakes game
No. 2 –The 11 men they were there to rob had little cash and valuables
No. 3 — The situation quickly spun out of control.
Tempers flared and soon the host, 50-year old Guatemalan immigrant Jeronimo Lopez, lay on the floor bleeding from a wound in his abdomen. While Lopez was dying, three of the four, according to Assistant Prosecutor Danielle Grootenboer, were “picking the pockets of the people while a man was bleeding to death on the ground.”
Blonson Florestal, 22, waited outside as a lookout and getaway driver. Jose Rivas, 28, had fingered the game to begin with, while Evens Dumas, 23, was the shooter. Keyshawn Malone was the so-called “brains” of the operation. Rivas is from West New York, the other three from Irvington.
Malone will be the first of four defendants to face a jury. Judge James J. Guida set the trial date of Sept. 26 Monday, April 17 for Malone, 24, who is charged with felony murder, conspiring to commit armed burglary and armed robbery; entering the residence and committing the robbery with a deadly weapon; assaulting Lopez and six other men during the theft; and hindering arrest by concealing or destroying evidence, including guns and property stolen from the victims.
Investigators said less than $2,000 in total was realized from the robbery.
Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Thomas Kearney said trials of the four will all be held separately and will follow Malone.
Malone is represented by defense attorney Mark A. Bailey of Newark.