New Jersey

Camden Man Charged With Murder Over a Decade Later

A southern New Jersey man faces murder charges stemming from a fatal bar shooting in 2002.

Camden County authorities say 41-year-old Angel Pinto, of Westville, shot and killed 23-year-old Camden resident John Rodriguez Jr. at a Camden bar. The shooting occurred when bouncers tried to break up a fight between Rodriguez and another man.

Police found Rodriguez on the floor between two pool tables. He was taken to a hospital, where he died a short time later.

Pinto was arrested Friday by U.S. Marshals and arraigned Monday afternoon. Investigators told NBC10 Pinto initially fled to Florida and was always a suspect in the murder. It wasn't until recently however when witnesses out of state spoke up. Police then determined the Camden native was living in Westville.

"Sometimes after 12 years witnesses feel more comfortable with speaking to police," said Detective Pete Longo of the Camden Count Prosecutor's Office.

Rodriguez's mother Joaquina Ortiz was in tears as she thanked the investigators, some of whom came out of retirement to help find her son's killer.

"Even though it took a decade, I never lost faith that someone would walk in my door saying they found the murderer who killed my son," she said.

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Pinto is currently being held on $1.5 million bail. So far no trial date has been set.

Pinto's older brother, 43-year-old Ramon Pinto Jr. of Cherry Hill, was charged Friday with witness tampering. Authorities say he called and threatened a potential witness last week.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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