Three Atlantic County homes were targeted in violent home invasions to steal money and drugs, according to the state’s charges.
Sean Temple and Ba’shawn Whitted-Scott were ordered jailed until trial Wednesday, after the judge heard details of their alleged crimes, including threatening a woman and her three juvenile children with a gun inside their Egg Harbor Township home on Aug. 11.
The woman told police she “believed these men are very capable of killing her and her children,” said Assistant Prosecutor Rick McKelvey, who also asked for a protective order that will keep the witnesses’ identities out of the paperwork in the case.
The men got $17,000 in cash from that home, according to the charges.
“They were relentless in their pursuit of money and drugs,” Superior Court Judge Bernard DeLury said.
Temple, 31, of Mays Landing, is a local rapper who already had two pending cases when he was arrested in three armed home invasions last month.
He scored the highest possible risk for both risk of failing to report and risk of further criminal activity, under the bail reform’s public safety assessment. The report also recommended Temple — who has a pending robbery case and one for promoting prostitution — not be released.
But defense attorney Joseph Swift said his client has appeared for about 20 court dates in the past year, never failing to report.
Investigators found several of the stolen items inside Whitted-Scott’s room at the Bayview Inn & Suites when the motel was raided last month.
That included a pair of blue and pink women’s Gucci shoes reported stolen from a Hamilton Township home on Aug. 5.
The female victim was home alone when she said three men broke in through the back door with handguns, asking “Where’s the money at?” and asking for an associate of hers who they called “a snitch,” McKelvey told the judge.
Whitted-Scott, 25, previously served prison time for a gun charge, but has had no issues with the law since 2010, attorney Matthew Leonard said.
He was given a citation for possession of an exotic animal by the state Division of Fish and Wildlife, after a 3-foot alligator found in the motel’s pool was tracked to him.
The alligator is seen in a video Temple shot at the motel, in which Whitted-Scott also appears.
Also in that video is semi-automatic gun with an extended magazine. That video was shown to investigators by the Egg Harbor Township victim, who said one of the guns pointed at her and her children also had an extended magazine.
About 45 to 90 minutes before that home was targeted on Aug. 11, a Hamilton Township woman reported her home was broken into by three men, two armed with guns.
Stolen was a cell phone, $30 and an Amazon Fire stick, which was found in Whitted-Scott’s room — attached to the victim’s account information.
Whitted-Scott told police he bought the items on the street. In fact, his attorney pointed out, Whitted-Scott was arrested when he went to the Atlantic City police station to check on the items.
Leonard questioned how someone who had stolen the items would not only hold on to them, but then go to police about them.
The attorney also said that Whitted-Scott did not match the physical description of the suspect, who was described as 6-foot-3 and muscular.
He pointed out that — although his client has “massive dredlocks — the hair was not mentioned. And that muscular does not describe the 6-foot-3 man who weighs about 300 pounds.
Both will now be held pending trial.