Murder suspect ‘chewed up bullets and swallowed them to destroy evidence’
A man charged with murder after the shooting of 48-year-old New Jersey resident David Cardonick took extreme measures to obliterate the evidence by swallowing and chewing bullet casings and even a live round, prosecutors allege.
The shooting followed what has been described as an “internet beef” between the victim’s son and another man, whose name has not been disclosed.
It is alleged argument escalated via social media and video conferencing platforms until the defendants, Victor A. Kaganzev and Christopher D. Velez were sent to the victim’s address.
According to public defender Frank Unger, the pair were planning just to scare Cardonick.
“The purpose in this case was not to shoot, it was not to kill, it was to intimidate,” Mr Unger told a hearing via video link .
On September 28, according to Gloucester County Assistant Prosecutor Jonathan Grekstas, Velez and Kaganzev traveled to the victim’s home.
On arrival, Velez walked up to the apartment door and knocked. When the victim answered, reports NJ.com, Velez raised a a silver, .22 caliber revolver that had given to him by Kaganzev.
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Cardonick tried to close the door, but Velez pushed it open and fired, hitting the victim in the forehead, alleged Mr Grekstas.
CCTV footage shows Velez calmly returning to his car after the shooting, Mr Grekstas said. Velez handed the gun to Kaganzev who , according to the prosecution case, took extreme measures to hide evidence.
“Specifically, he chewed and swallowed two of the shell casings and then swallowed one live round, all three of which had to be surgically recovered,” Mr Grekstas said.
Glassboro residents, Kaganzev, 20, and Velez, 21, were originally charged with attempted murder, accomplice to another in attempted murder and weapons offences
Those charges were upgraded to murder a few days later when the victim died in hospital.
Superior Court Judge Mary Beth Kramer has ordered that both men remain jailed pending trial.
Both men are due back in court Dec. 3.
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