The man charged in a shooting at an Ventnor Airbnb had a pending charge involving the alleged gang rape of a teenage girl in Wildwood, BreakingAC has learned.
Tamon Sykes, 23, of Willingboro, Burlington County, is accused of shooting a man five times just hours into 2019, after a fight at a New Year’s Eve part at the home on South Vassar Square.
Sykes is being held in the Atlantic County Justice Facility, after Superior Court Judge Benjamin Podolnick granted the state’s motion to have him held Friday.
During the hearing, Podolnick questioned why there were no conditions on the man from when he was charged with second-degree aggravated sexual assault Dec. 4, 2018.
While details of that charge were not discussed in court, BreakingAC has obtained a copy of the criminal complaint against Sykes.
DNA found on the victim matched Sykes’, which was in CODIS — the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System. However, the affidavit notes, the victim did not identify Sykes.
Police were looking for the girl June 11, 2017, after she was reported missing in Wildwood, according to the affidavit signed by Officer Donald Boice.
The girl was found at the Lu Fran Motel, where she told police she was “sexually assaulted by as many as six or seven male suspects,” Boice wrote.
DNA samples for two men identified by the victim did not match samples found on the girl. But, the CODIS search got two hits: Sykes and Marquise Coleman.
“It should be noted that the two suspects revealed through DNA analysis were not identified by the victim during the course of our investigation,” Boise wrote.
Attorney Richard Robinson, who represented Sykes at his detention hearing on the shooting, said he is not involved in the sexual assault case, but believes there are questions in that case.
He told Podolnick there also are questions in the shooting case, including that there may have been two separate fights and that Sykes was not involved in the one that resulted in gunfire.
But Podolnick’s question was why Sykes was charged with aggravated assault instead of attempted murder.
“I mean, five shots to the torso,” he said, looking to Assistant Prosecutor Bryna Batten.
Batten said she also questioned that when she saw it, but noted that — even with the lesser charge — the recommendation by bail reform’s public safety assessment showed Sykes should stay jailed pending the outcome of his case.
Sykes scored a six out of six for failure to appear and five out of six for likelihood to get a new charge, with a flag for violent activity, nearly the worst outcome a defendant can get on the PSA.
This is not Sykes’ first charge in a shooting. He was one of five men charged in a shooting at a 2015 graduation party in Burlington Township, the Burlington County Times reported at the time.
That charge, however, was dismissed through a motion by the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, court records show. The reason was not clear.