NJ Councilwoman’s Accused Killer Forces Gov. Murphy to Get Involved
The man charged with the death of Sayreville councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour delayed his return to New Jersey to face charges.
Rashid Bynum was arrested on May 30 at his home in Portsmouth, Virginia, and charged with first-degree murder, second-degree unlawful possession of a handgun, and second-degree possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose.
According to Dwumfour family attorney and former state legislator John Wisniewski, it is fairly routine for a suspect to waive their extradition hearing and voluntarily begin the process of being moved to the state where they were charged. During a hearing in Virginia on Thursday, Bynum did not waive the hearing.
"That's not what happened here. The defendant said, 'no, I'm going to insist you go through the formal process to extradite me.' And so that resulted in a hearing scheduled for Aug. 25, Wisniewski told New Jersey 101.5.
Delaying the inevitable
The process requires New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, through the Attorney General's Office, to request Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin issue a writ of extradition and bring Bynum back to the Garden State. It is a 90-day process that began the day he was arrested.
"It's a fair expectation is that the writ of excitation by Gov. Younkin will be issued long before the Aug. 25 hearing date, and then he'll come to New Jersey," Wisniewski said.
Wisniewski said Bynum will eventually come to New Jersey to formally face the charges.
"Is it possible that he just wants to be in Virginia because maybe he's got family there and it's easier for them to visit? Perhaps, but he's just delaying the inevitable," Wisniewski said.
Continuing to grieve
The Dwomfour family continues to cope with the death of Eunice and charges against a man they are not familiar with. Their initial question about who would have killed her was replaced by why.
"What was the motive? What was the relationship? Why did this person who is from Virginia make the trip to New Jersey, wait outside of Eunice's apartment and murder her?" Wisniewski said. "They don't recognize his image. They don't recognize his name. They're not aware of any connection between Eunice and the accused murderer."
Sayreville Council President Christian Onuoha told ABC 7 Eyewitness News that Dwumfour traveled to Virginia in her role as a pastor with the Champions Royal Assembly in Newark during missionary trips between 2016 and 2018 and counseled Bynum.
Onuoha did not know if Bynum kept in touch with Dwumfour once her trips ended.
"I remember her co-ordinating bible studies in Chesapeake, Virginia, as well as other locations primarily in New Jersey," Onuoha told ABC 7 Eyewitness News.
Bynum came to New Jersey at Drumfour's behest and lived at the Skytop Gardens Apartments in Parlin in 2017, according to The New Jersey Globe.