NEWARK, N.J. -- An 18-year-old immigrant from Honduras pleaded not guilty Tuesday to participating in the execution-style killing of three New Jersey college students.
Melvin Jovel is being held in protective custody in the Essex County Jail, the Newark Star-Ledger reported.
Jovel, who was arrested Sunday night in Elizabeth, was the last of six suspects to be picked up. He has been charged with murder and robbery.
Four victims, all students at Delaware State University, were listening to music in a school parking lot in Newark when they were attacked. Three of them were forced to kneel and shot in the head. One young woman survived with serious injuries.
U.S. immigration officials have placed a detainer on Jovel, whose immigration status is unclear, an assistant prosecutor said. He told the judge that he has no Social Security card or green card, although a U.S. passport was found among his possessions.
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