Nahquil Lovest

Nahquil Lovest, 18, of Pleasantville, is charged in the shooting death of Na’imah Bell.

MAYS LANDING — An 18-year-old Pleasantville man was indicted this week in the fatal July shooting of a 15-year-old girl that capped a summer of violence in Atlantic City, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office said Tuesday.

An Atlantic County grand jury returned an indictment against Nahquil Lovest on charges of aggravated manslaughter, unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and aggravated assault pointing a weapon.

Na’imah Bell, of Pleasantville, was found dead shortly after 4 a.m. July 25 inside a home at 102 S. Massachusetts Ave. in Atlantic City. Lovest was arrested the next day and charged in her death.

An initial autopsy determined the pending cause of death to be a gunshot wound to the head and the pending manner of death to be a homicide.

Bell’s death was the seventh fatal shooting in Atlantic City this year and one of three that killed teenagers. Also killed this year were 18-year-old Katusca Robles and 16-year-old Quran Bazemore.

The deaths sparked a movement against violence by residents that included vigils and community walks, and inspired Atlantic City leaders to travel to Newark to learn about ongoing efforts there to reduce violent activity.

In an August detention hearing for Lovest, his attorney, Alex Settle, told Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Bernard DeLury Jr. that the shooting was an accident while the defendant was playing with the gun.

Lovest has been in the Atlantic County jail since his arrest.

Contact: 609-272-7251

Twitter @clairelowe

Staff Writer

I began covering South Jersey in 2008 after graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism. I joined The Press in 2015. In 2013, I was awarded a NJPA award for feature writing as a reporter for The Current of Hamilton Township.

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