The Union County Prosecutor’s Office
32 Rahway Avenue   Elizabeth, NJ 07202
Theodore J. Romankow

February 19, 2009

Contact: John Holl
(908) 527-4621

Pleas announced in Home Invasion case


Four men pled guilty earlier this week to two counts of 1st degree armed robbery for their involvement in a home invasion that happened on July 17, 2007 in Elizabeth, said Union County Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow.

According to the investigation the men (listed below) burst into a first floor apartment on Fairmount Avenue wearing white t-shirts with the sleeves torn off, using the ripped cloth as facemasks, said Assistant Prosecutor Jessica Kahn, who handled the case. Each was armed with a knife.

They proceeded to rob two women and six children, netting several hundred dollars in cash, said Kahn. A third woman, Vivian Nash, who was in the apartment, was arrested shortly after the men pled in court. While the robbery was taking place, one of the victims managed to dial 9-1-1, said Kahn. Nash twice disconnected the call raising the victim’s suspicion that Nash was involved in the robbery.

Prosecutors believe that Vivian Nash helped the men gain entry to the apartment and told the defendants where the victim kept her savings, said Kahn. She has been charged with conspiracy to commit 1st degree armed robbery.

The victim was able to dial 9-1-1 a third time and Elizabeth Police were dispatched to the scene. As officers arrived, they apprehended all four suspects, said Kahn.

The defendants are listed as:

Barry Porter Jr. DOB: 6/6/1980 of Elizabeth.
Tyrone Lanier DOB: 12/19/1972 of Elizabeth
Keyshon Sowell DOB: 4/2/1979 of Paterson
Patrick Julney DOB: 2/15/1984 of Elizabeth

The pleas came following diligent and extensive police work by members of the Elizabeth Police Department and detectives of the Union County Prosecutor’s Office.

The men will be sentenced before Union County Superior Court Judge Stuart Peim on May 29, 2009. Porter, Lanier and Sowell agreed to 16-year sentences. Julney, because he had no previous criminal record will receive 14 years in prison. All must serve at least 85 % of their sentence before they are eligible for parole.

Nash will be arraigned in the coming days.