PLAINSBORO, N.J. - A man was charged with killing another man at his home in an attempted robbery after allegedly following him home from a Pennsylvania casino last week.
Middlesex County prosecutors and Plainsboro police said officers and first responders called to the home shortly after 3:30 a.m. Tuesday found 54-year-old Sree Aravapalli with multiple gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
Local and county investigators said the victim was targeted in Pennsylvania and followed to his New Jersey home, where he was killed during an attempted robbery. Jekai Reid-John, 27, of Norristown, was charged with first-degree murder with other charges pending, authorities said.
Eric Hausler, chief executive officer of Parx Casino in Bensalem, said in a statement that officials were "saddened" to learn that a customer was killed after returning from a visit to the casino, which is about 30 miles (50 kilometers) away.
"We have learned that law enforcement officials have arrested a suspect who followed the victim home from the casino that night," he said. "Parx Casino has been cooperating fully with local and state law enforcement agencies in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey and will continue to do so."
Authorities said in court documents that casino surveillance footage showed two people around the victim throughout the night, and one used a debit card associated with Jekai Reid-John, The (Allentown) Morning Call reported.
Authorities said a white car was seen entering the Pennsylvania Turnpike after the victim's vehicle and then taking the same exit. Less than 20 minutes later, Plainsboro police received a 911 call about a possible robbery and shooting.
At Reid-John's Norristown address, a white car linked to Reid-John was found and shoes matching those worn by one of the men seen at the casino were found in the back seat.
A black car that entered the parking lot as police were investigating and quickly turned around was found to be occupied by a woman and Reid-John. The woman said the man had been gone all night Monday with the white car and returned early Tuesday, authorities said.
Reid-John provided an audio and video statement to police in which he said he was driving the vehicle on Monday and went to the casino where he purchased food, but asked for a lawyer when questioned about what happened after he left, authorities said in court documents.
Reid-John was being held pending an extradition hearing. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he had retained an attorney and listed numbers in his name weren’t in service.