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Trenton gang member convicted in 2020 Bristol Township killing


A gang member from New Jersey was convicted Friday, for the January 2020 killing of Joshua Mcrae whose body was left on Interstate 295 in Bristol Township.

Robert S. Christie, 37, of Trenton, was found guilty by a Bucks County jury of first-degree murder, flight to avoid apprehension, hindering apprehension, possession of an instrument of crime, and abuse of a corpse.

President Judge Wallace H. Bateman Jr., deferred sentencing to a later date.

Christie was charged last August, along with two other Trenton men, following an exhaustive investigation by the Pennsylvania State Police and Bucks County Detectives and a recommendation by the Bucks County Investigating Grand Jury.

During the week-long jury trial, Chief Deputy District Attorney Christopher W. Rees presented testimony from several witnesses, law enforcement officers and the forensic pathologist examiner, and evidence that included extensive electronic surveillance, video footage, audio recordings, and cellphone and social media data.

The body of the victim was discovered early Jan. 19, 2020, after Bucks County 911 Center dispatchers received a call at 1:39 a.m. that day about a body lying on the side of I-295, near the Pennsylvania Turnpike on-ramp in Bristol Township.

State Police Troopers with the Trevose Barracks arrived and found the body of a man, later identified as Joshua Mcrae, 31, of Trenton. An autopsy determined Mcrae had been shot five times, and his death was ruled a homicide.

During the trial, testimony was presented that Mcrae, Christie, and two other men went to Murphy’s Beef and Ale in Bristol Township on the night of Jan. 18, 2020. On the drive home, Mcrae, sitting behind Christie in an SVU, said something which Christie found irritating.

Christie, a self-professed triple-OG Nine Trey Gangster, testified on his own behalf. He admitted he turned around and shot Mcrae at least five times, then dragged the dying man out of the vehicle and dumped him on the side of the highway in Bristol Township, the Bucks County District Attorney’s office said. Outside the SUV, Christie pointed the gun at Mcrae and squeezed the trigger, but the gun was empty. Christie claimed unsuccessfully that he did it in self-defense.

“His intent could not be more clear if he showed up wearing a black hooded robe and a sickle,” Rees said in his closing arguments. “His intent was to kill.”

Two cooperating witnesses are awaiting trial on charges of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, abuse of a corpse, and hindering apprehension. One is also facing charges of prohibited possession of a firearm and sales to an ineligible transferee.

“It is truly an honor to have assisted in this prosecution with some of the finest law enforcement officers in the Commonwealth. Their doggedness, their ingenuity, and their resolve insured Joshua’s loved ones finally got the justice for which they’ve waited more than three-and-a-half years,” Rees said.

This arrest was made possible by the dedicated work of the Bucks County Investigating Grand Jury and the tireless efforts of investigators with the Pennsylvania State Police and the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office.

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