A South Jersey teen was ordered detained in custody Thursday in last week’s fatal stabbing of the owner of a popular deli in Audubon, Camden County.
Dyheam Williams, 18, of Lindenwold, dressed in a dark-blue prison jumpsuit, stood emotionless in a Camden courtroom, with his hands cuffed in front, for his first appearance before a judge. He faces murder and weapon charges in the stabbing of Jerome Pastore, 57, at the Shamrock Deli at Cuthbert Boulevard and Davis Avenue.
Defense attorney Brad Wertheimer told Camden County Superior Court Judge Edward McBride Jr. that the defense was not contesting Williams’ pretrial detention. He said Williams agreed to waive a detention hearing that had been scheduled for Thursday.
Asked by the judge if it was his wish not to contest his detention, Williams replied: “Yes.”
Assistant Camden County Prosecutor Christine Shah said in court that Pastore, of West Berlin, whom “everybody called Jerry,” was a father of five children and had three grandchildren. “He was well-respected and loved by the community where he lived, and he was well-respected and loved by the community where he operated his business,” she said. Shah said Pastore’s wife, Ethel, his oldest son, a brother, and brother-in-law were in the courtroom.
Pastore’s relatives declined to comment after the brief hearing.
Williams’ supporters also declined to speak outside the courtroom, except for one woman who said: “God got it. He has the last say. That’s all.”
Both attorneys declined to comment to reporters.
Authorities did not detail their evidence in court, but documents in the case obtained afterward from the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office reveal that detectives have surveillance video, eyewitness accounts, and a fingerprint match that suggest Williams stole the deli’s tip jar Jan. 3, then fatally stabbed Pastore outside his deli.
A worker in the deli said that the suspect had been there “multiple times over the last three weeks inquiring about a job,” according to the probable-cause statement in Williams’ arrest. A customer in the deli at the time said she overheard Pastore “speaking about a job and advised the suspect to check back” the following week because a decision had not yet been made.
The customer and a second worker said the suspect then grabbed the tip jar from the counter and ran from the deli.
A third employee told detectives that Pastore, yelling at the suspect, chased him outside to the Cuthbert Boulevard side of the deli. The employee followed and saw the suspect wrestling with Pastore. The suspect was holding a knife, with a 4-to-5-inch blade, in his left hand. The employee then saw blood coming out of Pastore’s neck.
The suspect, wearing a “ninja” mask, a “hoodie”-style sweatshirt, and a puffy jacket, then fled on an orange bicycle, according to that witness account.
Police officers were called to the deli about 4:50 p.m., then took a wounded Pastore to Cooper University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly afterward.
An autopsy found that Pastore had 11 stab wounds, including two in his liver and one in his neck.
Surveillance video captured the suspect on the unit block of Kraft Avenue, a few blocks from the deli. He was seen in the video taking money from a jar and putting it in his pocket, then discarding the jar on the ground before riding away on an orange bicycle, the statement of probable cause says.
Detectives zeroed in on Williams after sifting through the deli’s job applications. One employee also identified him in a photo array as the man who allegedly stole the tip jar.
A fingerprint analysis of the jar, recovered from the driveway of a home on Kraft, found a fingerprint that matched Williams', the statement says.
Williams was arrested Sunday at his home. He remains in custody at the Camden County Jail.
In an interview Monday at the deli, Steve Ginn, who works there and said he is Pastore’s best friend, said the tip jar contained at most $20. “If he needed money, Jerry would have given him the money,” Ginn said.
Pastore “was a good person,” said Ginn. “He had a heart of gold.”