A Freehold NJ man is on his way to prison after he pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated manslaughter. The suspect, a 27-year-old resident of Freehold, reportedly admitted to killing his girlfriend at their shared residence in May 2014.
The suspect committed the homicide at the couple’s third-floor apartment on Hudson Street in Freehold Borough, New Jersey. According to Monmouth County prosecutors, the suspect got into a heated argument with the victim during the early morning hours. At some point, the verbal altercation became physical and the suspect physically grabbed the victim and strangled her.
When the suspect killed his girlfriend, the couple’s young child was asleep in another room. Fortunately, the three-year-old kid was not harmed during the violent incident.
Medical examiners with the Middlesex County Medical Examiner’s Office later conducted an autopsy and determined that the victim’s cause of death was asphyxiation from strangling. The victim was 30 years of age when she died. Additionally, the victim was five months pregnant at the time of her death.
Immediately after the killing, the suspect dialed 911 and told police dispatchers that he murdered his girlfriend.
Criminal Charges for Murder in Monmouth County, NJ
Detectives with the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Bureau and the Freehold Borough Police Department investigated the homicide and quickly gathered enough evidence to file charges against the suspect.
The suspect was initially charged with first degree murder. If the suspect had gone to trial on the murder charges, he would have faced life imprisonment. Additionally, the minimum term of incarceration for a first degree murder conviction is 30 years.
However, the suspect managed to avoid the most severe penalties by reaching a plea agreement with the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office. In exchange for the suspect pleading guilty to charges of aggravated manslaughter, prosecutors agreed to drop the murder charges and recommend a sentence of 28 years behind bars. The sentence would also include a requirement that the suspect serve at least 24 years in prison before he becomes eligible for release on parole.
Despite reaching the plea deal with prosecutors, the suspect still has to appear in Monmouth County Superior Court so that a judge can approve the plea agreement and formally sentence the suspect on the manslaughter charges. That sentencing hearing is currently scheduled for April 21, 2017.
While the suspect awaits official sentencing, he is being held at the Monmouth County Jail in Freehold NJ on a massive $1 million bail amount.
If you have been charged with a violent crime in New Jersey, you need a skilled criminal defense lawyer representing you. William J. Connelly of the Maldjian Law Group LLC is a criminal defense attorney with years of experience defending clients against charges for murder and manslaughter in Monmouth County. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation about your case.