Mount Olive Murder ChargesA Mount Olive woman is currently standing trial for allegedly murdering her boyfriend outside her house in 2014.

Virginia Vertetis is a 54-year-old woman who worked at Wharton Elementary School and lived in Mount Olive, New Jersey. According to law enforcement, she fatally shot her boyfriend on March 3, 2014.

The homicide victim was a 51-year-old man from Staten Island NY who served for years with the New York City Police Department (NYPD) before retiring.

After the fatal shooting, Mount Olive NJ police officers went to the scene, investigated the shooting, and arrested the suspect. She was charged with multiple crimes, including first degree murder and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

Now the case has finally reached the trial stage in Morris County Superior Court, which is located in Morristown, NJ.

During their opening statements to the jury, Morris County NJ prosecutors argued that Vertetis became enraged when she found out that her boyfriend was cheating on her and that he intended to break up with her. Vertetis, claimed prosecutors, used a .38-caliber revolver to shoot and kill the victim outside her home.

Defense attorneys countered in their opening statements to the jury that Vertetis shot the victim in self-defense. According to Vertetis, the victim assaulted her before the shooting. Moreover, said defense lawyers, Vertetis believed that this was a “kill or be killed” situation.

Vertetis has also alleged that her boyfriend abused her for many years and that was a victim of domestic violence.

For more information about this case, see the DailyRecord.com article, “Lawyer: Mount Olive Woman Thought ‘Kill or Be Killed’ As She Shot Beau.”

Morris County Traffic AttorneysA Florida man is headed to jail after pleading guilty to homicide charges related to a fatal motorcycle accident in Bergen County, New Jersey.

The fatal auto accident occurred just before 8:00 a.m. on May 13, 2012. The suspect, a 25-year-old Florida man, was driving his car in the area of MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford when he crashed into a motorcyclist. The biker, a Kinnelon resident who owned a business in Cliffside Park NJ, died due to injuries sustained in the accident.

Law enforcement conducted an investigation into the fatal accident and determined that the suspect was speeding prior to the collision.

The suspect was arrested and charged with second degree death by auto, a felony-level offense that could have led to a sentence of 10 years in NJ State Prison if the case had gone to trial. However, the suspect avoided trial, and the most severe penalties, by reaching a plea agreement with Bergen County prosecutors.

Now a Bergen County Superior Court judge has signed off on the plea deal and sentenced the suspect to just 364 days in the Bergen County Jail. The judge also sentenced the suspect to five years of probation after he completes his jail sentence.

For more information about this case, access the NorthJersey.com article, “Man Gets Jail Term in Death of Kinnelon Motorcyclist.”

Lincoln Park Murder Defense LawyersA Fairview New Jersey man charged with aggravated manslaughter in Morris County Superior Court in Morristown NJ has been ruled unfit to stand trial right now.

The suspect, a 51-year-old resident of Fairview in Bergen County, NJ, allegedly helped another person cover up a homicide in 2011 by disposing of the body in Lincoln Park, New Jersey.

The victim in the homicide was 27 years of age. According to prosecutors, the victim was beaten to death with a hammer in Fairview and then driven to Lincoln Park, NJ.

The suspect is supposed to face the criminal charges in Morris County, but a judge recently said that the suspect is not currently fit to stand trial. This is yet another delay in a murder trial that has already been delayed numerous times.

Although the suspect’s criminal defense attorney argued that the charges should be dropped because his client will never be competent for trial, the superior court judge has instructed the suspect to take medication so that he can get his mental illness under control.

The suspect’s co-defendant in the homicide case has already been convicted of aggravated manslaughter.

For further information about this case, read the DailyRecord.com article, “Man Accused of Dumping Body in Lincoln Park Still Unfit for Trial.”

Dover NJ Murder Defense AttorneysDetectives with the Dover Police Department are looking into the recent death of a homeless man whose body was found in a wooded area.

According to authorities, the victim is a 50-year-old homeless man who was living in an encampment in the woods of Dover, New Jersey. The victim’s friend is said to have found his body in the encampment.

After discovering the body, the victim’s friend notified local law enforcement. Dover NJ police officers went to the scene, but there was nothing they could do to revive the victim.

Although Dover police do not believe that the victim’s death was suspicious or the result of a homicide, they are still conducting an investigation and attempting to figure out exactly what happened. As part of that investigation, coroners with the Morris County Medical Examiner’s Office will be performing an autopsy on the body.

If law enforcement eventually determines that the victim was, in fact, murdered, the person responsible would likely face severe penalties. As set forth by N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3 of the New Jersey Criminal Code, murder is a first degree felony and carries a potential punishment of life imprisonment.

For additional information about this investigation, check out the NJ.com article, “Body of Homeless Man Found in Dover.”

Morris County NJ Domestic Violence LawyersProsecutors in Essex County recently made the decision to upgrade criminal charges against a mother and her boyfriend related to the death of the female suspect’s seven-year-old kid.

The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office initially filed criminal charges against the adult suspects for child endangerment. However, the criminal charges were eventually upgraded to aggravated manslaughter when the child tragically died as a result of his injuries. The incident unfolded on October 2, 2016, with Newark cops being dispatched to the couple’s home in Newark, New Jersey. Newark police officers found the seven-year-old boy at the residence, where he was unresponsive after having sustained traumatic injuries. An Essex County NJ medical examiner later determined that the boy’s death was directly caused by multiple blunt force traumas.

Authorities also revealed that the NJ Division of Child Protection and Permanency (“DCP&P”), formerly known as “DYFS,” had previously made a determination that the child was a victim of child abuse or neglect and that the male suspect was the person who committed the abuse. DCP&P investigators specifically “established” an allegation of child abuse, but they did not remove the child from the home.

As set forth by child abuse and neglect laws in New Jersey, there are four potential outcomes of a DCP&P investigation into allegations of child abuse and neglect: substantiated, established, not established, and unfounded. The threshold question that DCP&P investigators ask in these cases is whether the alleged victim was abused or neglected, as defined by Title 9 (N.J.S.A. 9:8.21, et. seq.). If investigators find that the child was a victim of abuse or neglect, the Division goes further and applies an analytical framework of aggravating and mitigating factors to decide if the allegation has been “substantiated” or “established.” When the factual scenario fails to meet the statutory definition of child abuse or neglect under Title 9, the Division will “not establish” the allegation and will probably find the allegation to be “unfounded.”

The recent Newark child abuse and manslaughter case highlights the fine line that exists between preserving the family unit and subjecting a child to the pain of being taken away from his or her family. When DCP&P conducts an investigation into an allegation of child abuse or child neglect, investigators typically address two important issues:

  1. Whether the child has been abused or neglected to such an extent that the child’s safety, health, and well-being are being placed in immediate danger.
  2. Whether it would be contrary to the child’s best interests to remain in the home.

There is an extremely important distinction between determining that a child has been abused or neglected and determining whether the child ought to be removed from his family. Of course, an instance of past abuse is usually considered highly relevant when determining whether the child is in immediate danger of being physically harmed. However, DCP&P investigators still take care to recognize the importance of maintaining the family unit, which is why they will not automatically conclude that a past instance of child abuse should lead to removal of the child from the home.

Rockaway Township Manslaughter SuspectA Mountain Lakes man faces serious prison time if he is convicted on aggravated manslaughter charges stemming from a fatal drunk driving accident in Rockaway Township, NJ.

The fatal crash occurred on Route 80 in Rockaway Township NJ on July 11, 2015. The suspect was behind the wheel of a Cadillac Escalade and driving past a construction site when he reportedly slammed into a Kia. The collision caused the Kia to crash into a Jeep, with the Kia subsequently catching fire.

Three people inside the Kia died as a result of the car crash: a 24-year-old male, his 21-year-old fiancé, and the couple’s 18-month-old daughter. The victims were passing through New Jersey and headed back to their hometown of Jeffersontown, Kentucky. Authorities indicated that the adult female victim was pregnant when she died in the car wreck.

The suspect, a 24-year-old resident of Mountain Lakes, was arrested and charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and aggravated manslaughter.

After the suspect was indicted by a grand jury, Morris County prosecutors offered him a plea deal: agree to plead guilty to three counts of aggravated manslaughter and the prosecutor’s office would recommend a sentence of 36 years behind bars.

The suspect ultimately rejected the plea offer and is likely headed to trial in Morris County Superior Court, which is located in Morristown, New Jersey.

In advance of the trial, the suspect is being held at the Morris County Correctional Facility on a bail amount of $750,000.

For additional information about this case, view the NJ.com article, “Man Charged in Crash That Killed 3 Reportedly Loses Bid to Dismiss Charges.”

Morris County NJ Drug Distribution AttorneysA Jefferson New Jersey man who allegedly sold a fatal dose of heroin in Wharton NJ could soon be charged with homicide.

The suspect is a 41-year-old male resident of Jefferson in Morris County, New Jersey. He has already been charged with distribution of heroin. However, the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office is still investigating the suspect and could soon bring homicide charges against the suspect because the person he allegedly sold the heroin to later died due to a drug overdose.

The suspect allegedly sold the drugs to the victim in Wharton, NJ. The person who bought the drugs reportedly died as a result of a heroin overdose.

The suspect is being held at the Morris County Correctional Facility in Morristown, NJ. His bail amount is $125,000, but that figure could rise if Morris County prosecutors decide to charge the suspect with homicide.

In New Jersey, a person who sells a deadly dose of drugs can potentially be charged with homicide under the New Jersey Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Death law. A conviction could result in several years behind bars.

For additional information about this case, check out the NJ.com article, “Man under Investigation over Fatal Heroin Overdose, Report Says.”

Morris County NJ Murder SuspectA man with a prior conviction for simple assault in Dover New Jersey has now been charged with murder in Arizona after police linked him to the killings of two homeless people.

According to authorities, the suspect brutally killed the victims in January 2015 and February 2015 while traveling along the Miracle Mile in Tucson, Arizona.

The suspect, a 53-year-old man male with a listed residence in Idaho, is reportedly a transient who moves around the US. Law enforcement believes that the suspect targets homeless men for assaults.

Arizona law enforcement linked the suspect to a murder after discovering the victim’s body in a drainage culvert in Tucson. Police investigators then reportedly found a strand of the suspect’s hair in the victim’s clenched fist.

Authorities found the other homicide victim, also a homeless man, in the desert. He reportedly died as a result of being stabbed in the chest with a knife and struck in the head with a rock.

In July 2014, the suspect became a focus of NJ law enforcement after using a rock to beat a homeless man in Dover, NJ. The attack occurred underneath the Route 46 bridge in Dover.

The suspect was charged with aggravated assault, but he eventually worked out a plea deal with the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office and pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of simple assault. In exchange for his guilty plea, the suspect was sentenced to time served.

New Jersey law enforcement also believed that the suspect may have assaulted a different homeless person in Roxbury NJ, but investigators never found enough evidence to charge the suspect in that attack.

To learn more about this case, check out the NJ.com article, “Accused Killer of Arizona Homeless Connected to Attacks in N.J.”

Montville NJ First Degree Murder LawyersPre-trial hearings recently started in the high-profile homicide case of a man accused of beating a young toddler to death at a motel in Montville, NJ.

On April 10, 2015, the Montville Police Department sent police officers to the Knights Inn in Montville NJ after getting a 911 call from the victim’s mom and her boyfriend. When police arrived at the scene, they discovered that the three-year-old child was suffering from severe bruises, was soaking wet, and was struggling to breathe. The victim’s mother and her boyfriend reportedly spoke with Montville police and said that the child choked on food.

Montville NJ police officers reportedly saw that the victim’s mom was the likely victim of a physical assault because she had bruises on her face, as well as a black eye.

The victim was taken to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson, New Jersey, where doctors treated him for his injuries. However, the doctors could not save the victim; he was pronounced dead a few days later.

The 29-year-old suspect was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child. Shortly after the three-year-old victim died, the charges against the suspect were upgraded to murder.

According to Morris County prosecutors, police realized early on that victim’s injuries were not caused by choking on food. Instead, said law enforcement, it was clear “that an assault had occurred.” Morris County NJ medical examiners stated that the victim died as a result of blunt force trauma to his head.

At pretrial hearings in Morris County Superior Court in Morristown NJ, the superior court judge heard arguments from prosecutors for the admission of certain crucial pieces of evidence. Among the most vital pieces of evidence for the prosecution is a videotaped interview of the suspect that was conducted by detectives after the initial 911 call.

For additional information about this case, view the DailyRecord.com article, “Battered Toddler Found in Montville after 911 Call.”

Dover New Jersey Domestic Violence AttorneysA man facing attempted murder charges for allegedly trying to kill his ex-wife in Dover NJ is now claiming that he acted in self-defense.

The frightening incident went down on January 25, 2015 at a residence on West Blackwell Street in Dover, New Jersey. Authorities believe that the violent altercation began when the suspect and his ex-wife got into an argument about finances.

According to the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, the suspect tried to kill his ex-wife by grabbing a steak knife and using it to stab her several times. The suspect allegedly stabbed the victim three times in the legs, two times in the chest, two times in her back, and once in her arm.

When the couple’s 10-year-old daughter tried to intervene and stop the alleged attack against her mother, the suspect reportedly retreated and fled the scene.

According to law enforcement, the suspect ran from the Dover house and went to Penn Station, where he caught a train and left New Jersey. The suspect was later tracked down and arrested by police in Queens, NY.

During questioning by Morris County NJ detectives, the suspect reportedly waived his right to remain silent. However, there is now a dispute about whether an audio tape of the suspect’s statements to police should be admissible as evidence in the criminal case. The suspect’s criminal defense lawyers said that a transcript of the audio tape may be inaccurate because the suspect spoke Spanish while being questioned by law enforcement. The Morris County Superior Court judge will likely issue a ruling on the evidence issue sometime in early August.

The 30-year-old suspect is said to be an undocumented immigrant from Ecuador. He has been charged with numerous crimes, including attempted murder, aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a weapon, and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

The suspect also faces criminal charges for endangering the welfare of a child because his young daughter was at the residence during the violent incident.

Although the suspect and the victim were divorced, they lived in the same home. The victim did not have a restraining order against the suspect at the time of the attack.

The suspect is now claiming that he stabbed the victim in self-defense while they both struggled to grab the steak knife. The suspect made the self-defense claim during pre-trial testimony in Morris County Superior Court in Morristown, NJ.

For further information about this case, view the DailyRecord.com article, “Dover Man Charged with Attempted Murder Claims Ex-Wife Assaulted Him First.”