Accused in New Jersey Councilwoman’s Murder Pleads Not Guilty, Shown Yawning in Court

Accused in New Jersey Councilwoman’s Murder Pleads Not Guilty, Shown Yawning in Court

In a courtroom scene that left many astounded, Rashid Ali Bynum, 29, stood accused of the brutal murder of New Jersey councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour, 30.

As he entered his plea of not guilty on Monday, he appeared nonchalant, even yawning, in stark contrast to the gravity of the charges against him.

Dwumfour had tragically lost her life when she was fatally shot in her car outside her Sayreville home back in February.

Careless Demeanor

Images obtained from the Middlesex County Courthouse show Bynum making faces and exhibiting an overall indifferent demeanor as the charges were read aloud.

At times, he seemed to smirk and nonchalantly looked around when the gun allegedly used in the murder was mentioned.

This behavior, juxtaposed with the charges, created a surreal atmosphere in the courtroom.

A Troubling Background

Bynum’s arrest in Virginia in May came after a thorough investigation that utilized phone records to trace his connection to the Newark Chapter of the Nigerian-based Champions Royal Assembly Church, where Dwumfour had served as a pastor.

The records indicated his presence in New Jersey around the time of the murder and his subsequent return to Virginia.

Authorities also noted that Bynum had paid for his rental car in cash, which was tracked through its E-ZPass.

Incriminating Evidence

Prosecutors further claim that the murder weapon found in Bynum’s possession matches the one used in the crime.

Additionally, it was revealed that Bynum had lived with Dwumfour and her daughter at one point but was sent back to Virginia by the church due to disagreements over religious beliefs.

No Bail and a Strong Case

Bynum’s court appearance concluded with Judge Joseph Paone ordering him to remain in jail until his next hearing on October 30.

The judge cited ‘overwhelming evidence’ as the reason for this decision, asserting that the defendant had failed to provide adequate proof to demonstrate that he posed no threat to the community, no risk to the judicial process, and no risk of fleeing court proceedings.

A Tragic Loss and a Complex Life

Eunice Dwumfour, a Republican who had achieved an unexpected electoral victory in November 2021, was not up for reelection until 2024.

Although she hailed from Newark and had family ties there, she resided in Sayreville as a single mother.

Dwumfour had recently married a pastor residing in Nigeria and held professional roles as a Certified Business Analyst and Scrum Professional for Fire Congress Fellowship Inc., alongside her part-time work as an EMT.

A Bizarre and Disturbing Display

The shocking and seemingly cavalier behavior of the defendant in such a serious and tragic case has left many observers baffled.

The courtroom is typically a place where the gravity of the charges weighs heavily on those present, but Bynum’s demeanor appeared out of sync with the somber atmosphere.

The judge’s decision to deny bail underscores the strength of the case against him, adding another layer of intrigue to this unsettling legal saga.

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