New Jersey Supreme Court Orders Trial Court to Impose New Sentence in Randolph Township Murder Case

Murder Charges in Randolph NJA man who murdered and then dismembered a teen girl in Randolph Township in 2005 will now be eligible for release from prison at some point. The NJ Supreme Court recently ordered a Morris County trial court to resentence James Zarate in the homicide case. In January, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that juvenile defendants, or defendants who were minors at the time of their offenses, can’t be sentenced to life imprisonment. In this case, Zarate received a sentenced that called for him to serve 64 years in New Jersey State Prison before becoming eligible for parole. The state supreme court held that this kind of lengthy prison sentence was essentially the same as a sentence of life in prison.

The ruling in this case meant that the trial court, the Morris County Superior Court in Morristown, had to resentence Zarate and reduce his original sentence to 50 years in state prison. As a result, Zarate could now be released on parole when he turns 57. (Prior to the NJ Supreme Court ruling, Zarate was not going to become eligible for parole until turning 78.)

Randolph Township Brothers Killed Teenage Girl

James Zarate was 14 years old when he murdered a 16-year-old girl who lived in a house next door to Zarate’s father in Randolph, NJ. Zarate and his older brother, Jonathan Zarate, reportedly went after the girl as revenge for her reporting James as a bully at high school. A witness later testified in court that James participated in the homicide because Jonathan taunted him.

Randolph Township cops connected the Zarate brothers to the killing when they tried to throw a trunk containing the victim’s body into a river on July 31, 2005. This was just one day after they used knives to stab the victim to death outside her home in Randolph, New Jersey.

During trial in Morris County Superior Court, James Zarate’s defense team argued that he did not take part in the killing. Zarate said that he merely helped his brother to dispose of the victim’s body after the homicide. However, forensic experts countered that blood stains on James Zarate’s clothes proved that he was responsible for the violent crime.

At the end of the trial, a jury agreed with prosecutors and found James Zarate guilty of first degree murder. (Jonathan Zarate was convicted by a jury in a different trial in Morris County Superior Court.) Zarate later filed an appeal of the sentence, which led to the recent ruling by the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Morris County Criminal Defense Lawyers About Your Criminal Charges

If you’ve been charged with a violent crime like murder, manslaughter, or aggravated assault, the aggressive criminal defense lawyers at the Tormey Law Firm can help you beat the charges and avoid the most severe penalties. Our legal team has defended clients against serious criminal charges throughout Morris County, New Jersey. Contact us today to go over the details of your case.

Police Searching for Man Accused of Posing as Taxi Driver and Robbing Fare in Hackettstown

Criminal Defense Lawyer in Dover NJMorris County and Sussex County police are searching for a man who reportedly posed as a taxi driver and robbed his fare. The incident happened late at night: the suspect picked up the victim outside a Dover restaurant when the victim requested a cab ride. According to law enforcement, the suspect pretended to be a cab driver so that he could lure the victim into the vehicle. The victim reportedly needed a ride from the Dover restaurant to an unspecified location in Hackettstown in Sussex County, New Jersey.

The “taxi ride” ended when the car pulled up to a Quick Chek on Mountain Avenue in Hackettstown, NJ. The suspect then allegedly aimed a silver handgun at the victim and threatened to shoot unless he handed over money. The victim the suspect cash and then got out of the car.

The suspect drove away from the area and the victim notified Hackettstown police. Officers soon arrived at the scene, but the suspect was gone. Now detectives with the Hackettstown Police Department and the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office are working with police departments in Morris County to investigate the theft offense.

NJ Armed Robbery Charges: Penalties for Theft & Weapons Offenses

The Dover robbery suspect is said to be an “older male” who is Hispanic. He reportedly drove a silver Ford Crown Victoria or Mercury Grand Marquis that did not have a taxi company logo on the side. Police are actively investigating and trying to determine the suspect’s identity.

If the suspect is captured, he would probably be charged with multiple crimes: armed robbery and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. The robbery charges would be the most serious because the suspect allegedly used a firearm. N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1 classifies robbery as a first degree crime when the offender attempts to kill someone, purposely inflicts or attempts to inflict serious bodily injury, or uses a deadly weapon such as a gun or knife. (Robbery is typically classified as a second degree crime under NJ law.) In this armed robbery case, the suspect could face first degree felony charges and face 10-20 years in New Jersey State Prison if convicted.

Call the Tormey Law Firm to Speak with an Experienced Morris County Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Robbery Charges

A robbery charge needs to be taken seriously because it can result in severe penalties. If you or a loved one has been charged with robbery in Morris County, New Jersey, you need to talk to an aggressive criminal defense attorney immediately. Travis Tormey is an experienced criminal lawyer who helps clients fight robbery charges in Morris County, Sussex County, and Warren County, NJ. Contact Attorney Tormey today to start your defense.

Roxbury Law Enforcement to Crack Down on Drunk Drivers with DWI Checkpoint

Roxbury Township DWI CheckpointRoxbury police plan to set up a DWI checkpoint in the township this month to target intoxicated motorists. The Roxbury Township Police Department announced the drunk-driving checkpoint, which will be run and enforced by Roxbury police officers and members of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office. The DWI checkpoint has been funded by a grant from the NJ Division of Highway Traffic Safety.

Other funds from the grant will be used to establish other DUI checkpoints throughout Morris County, NJ, possible in Parsippany-Troy Hills Township, Mount Olive Township, Morris Township, Montville, Washington Township, Morristown, Denville Township, and Madison. One reason that police departments in Morris County are trying to stop drunk motorists at checkpoints is that DWI accidents in the county pose serious risks to other drivers and to pedestrians. In the worst cases, DWI accidents result in fatalities.

Penalties for DWI Convictions in Morris County, New Jersey

A person stopped by police at the Roxbury Township DWI checkpoint could face severe penalties if arrested for operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% percent or higher. That’s because New Jersey prosecutors tend to seek maximum penalties in drunk driving cases. A conviction for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in Roxbury, NJ or anywhere else in Morris County could lead to driver’s license suspension, monetary fines, alcohol education classes at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC), installation of ignition interlock devices on all of the defendant’s vehicles, and jail time.

The precise penalties imposed for a DWI conviction in NJ depend on whether the defendant has prior convictions for drunk driving. A motorist who is convicted of a first offense DWI could have their driver’s license suspended for three months. If that same motorist has a previous DWI conviction within the past 10 years, the charges will be for a second offense DWI and the penalties could include a driver’s license suspension for a period of two years. A third offense DWI, or a subsequent offense DWI, could result in driver’s license suspension for a period of 10 years, as well as significant jail time.

Free Consultation with Experienced DWI Defense Lawyers in Roxbury, NJ

Anyone charged with drunk driving in Roxbury, New Jersey should make sure to have a skilled DWI defense lawyer on their side. The DWI attorneys at the Tormey Law Firm are prepared to defend you against DWI charges, DUI charges, and Breath Test Refusal charges. We work with a retired NJ State trooper who has been certified in both field sobriety testing and the Alcotest. Contact us anytime to discuss your case and explore your legal options.

Rockaway Township Police Officer Allegedly Sexually Assaulted Minors

Sexual Assault Charges for Rockaway Township CopA Morris County grand jury recently indicted a Rockaway Township police officer on sex offense charges for allegedly sexually assaulting two juvenile girls while he was on active duty. The suspect is Wilfredo Guzman, a 40-year-old man who resides in Rockaway Township and who served with the Rockaway Township Police Department. Guzman has been suspended without pay, pending the outcome of his criminal charges.

According to the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, Guzman engaged in acts involving sexual penetration with a 15-year-old girl and a 16-year-old girl in 2014 and 2015. Some of those acts reportedly occurred at a police station at the Rockaway Townsquare mall, at a motel in Rockaway Township, NJ, and in Guzman’s police patrol vehicle while he was on duty. Morris County prosecutors have also allegedly that Guzman provided the minors with alcohol and prescription drugs.

NJ Sexual Assault Charges & Penalties

Guzman has been charged with several criminal offenses, including sexual assault, child endangerment, official misconduct, and possession of child pornography. All of the criminal charges have been classified as felonies, meaning that they could result in severe penalties like prison time, fines, and Megan’s Law sex offender registration requirements. Beyond that, sexual assault has a presumption of incarceration: if convicted, Guzman would likely be unable to get a probationary sentence to stay out jail.

When Guzman was arrested in April, he agreed to wear an electronic monitoring device in order to get released from the Morris County Jail in Morristown. Additionally, Guzman was ordered to abide by the terms of a no-contact order barring him from contact with either of the two alleged victims. If Guzman violates the no-contact order, he could be charged with more crimes under N.J.S.A. 2C:29-9.

Guzman has now been indicted by a grand jury, which means that he could eventually stand trial on the sex crime charges in Morris County Superior Court. If Guzman does not reach a pre-trial plea agreement, his fate would probably be decided by a jury. In addition to facing legal consequences, Guzman could also permanently lose his job with the Rockaway Township Police Department if he is ultimately convicted in the case. (Guzman is currently suspended from his role with the police force.)

Experienced Morristown Criminal Defense Lawyer Defends Clients Against Sex Crime Charges in New Jersey

A conviction for a sex crime in New Jersey could destroy your life. Not only could you end up behind bars for a very long time, but you could also find your employment, your reputation, and your family life affected in a negative way. The best way to fight back against sex crime charges in NJ is to have a qualified criminal defense attorney on your side early in the process. Travis Tormey is an experienced criminal lawyer who is prepared to defend clients against sexual assault charges in Rockaway Township, Morristown, Parsippany, and everywhere else in Morris County, NJ.

Before he founded the Tormey Law Firm, Attorney Tormey worked with the sex crime unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Now Attorney Tormey and his skilled legal team fight on behalf of defendants in criminal cases. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

Morris County, NJ Man Charged with Lewdness in Delaware

Lewdness Charges for Morristown ManA Morristown, New Jersey man was recently placed on leave from his high-ranking executive position at an Essex County, NJ hospital after he was arrested for allegedly committing numerous sex offenses in Delaware.

The suspect is 57-year-old Gerald Picerno, who resides in Morristown NJ and who reportedly serves as the chief strategy officer at RWJBarnabas Health in West Orange, NJ. According to authorities, Picerno faces criminal charges after law enforcement in Delaware connected him to multiple incidents involving lewd behavior around the University of Delaware campus. The first three incidents reportedly occurred during a span of a few hours on September 15. Picerno allegedly put a lewd note on a chair outside a residence on South Chapel Street. Later, Picerno allegedly walked toward a woman seated in a car parked along the 100 block of East Main Street and started to masturbate. Then, less than a half-hour after that incident, Picerno allegedly removed his clothing and approached two females in a parking lot on the 200 block of East Main Street. The fourth lewd incident happened one month later, on October 15, with Picerno allegedly exposing himself to a person at the Roselle Center for the Arts on the University of Delaware campus.

Police detectives in Delaware investigated the alleged sex crimes and eventually identified Picerno as a possible suspect. Investigators reportedly matched Picerno’s fingerprints to the harassing letter that was left at the first residence and detectives reportedly got video surveillance footage showing Picerno walking around the University of Delaware campus at the time of the lewd sex acts.

Significant Penalties for Sex Crime Convictions

Picerno faces numerous criminal charges, including charges for lewdness, indecent exposure, criminal trespassing, and harassment. Moreover, since police in Delaware are still investigating Picerno, it’s possible that additional charges could be forthcoming. Although the criminal charges were filed in Delaware, a conviction could affect Picerno in his home state of NJ as well.

In addition to facing criminal charges in Delaware, Picerno’s job at RWJBarnabas in New Jersey could be in jeopardy because of his alleged criminal misconduct. Not long after Delaware authorities placed Picerno under arrest, an RWJBarnabas spokesperson sent an email to the media and stated that Picerno had been “placed on leave.”

Contact an Aggressive Morris County, NJ Criminal Defense Attorney Who Will Help You Fight Sex Crime Charges

When it comes to sex crime charges in NJ, or in another state, it is imperative that you build a strong defense right from the beginning. That’s because even being accused of a sex offense can cause serious problems in your personal life and affect your social relationships and employment status.

The Tormey Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm with extensive experience handling sex crime cases throughout New Jersey. Contact us now to go over your legal options and to start fighting your criminal charges in Morris County or elsewhere in NJ.

Fraud Lawyer in Parsippany NJThree NY doctors have been sentenced to hard time in prison for their roles in a medical testing scam that involved a laboratory in Parsippany, NJ.

The suspects include a 45-year-old Staten Island, New York man, a 49-year-old Staten Island, NY man, and a 45-year-old Scarsdale man.

All of the suspects were sentenced to 2-3 years in federal prison after they pleaded guilty to criminal charges for bribery. The suspects would have been subject to much longer terms of incarcerations if they had fought the charges and gone to trial in U.S. District Court in Newark, New Jersey.

According to authorities, the suspects, and many others, accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars as bribes to ensure that valuable blood-testing work was sent to the Parsippany medical lab.

Several other doctors implicated in the fraud scheme have already been convicted and sentenced to prison as well.

For additional information about this case, check out the article, “3 Doctors Sentenced in Sprawling Blood Test Bribery Case.”

Mountain Lakes DUI AttorneysA man who previously lived in Mountain Lakes, New Jersey will be spending several years in prison after he pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter charges in connection with a fatal DWI crash in July 2015.

The suspect is a 24-year-old male who used to reside in Mountain Lakes in Morris County, NJ. He was charged with multiple crimes and traffic violations after he allegedly caused an accident late at night and killed three people in another vehicle.

The victims were from Kentucky and were all pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

According to authorities, the suspect drank black maple whiskey before getting into his car that night.

The homicide case was set for trial, but the suspect ultimately reached a plea agreement with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and Driving While Intoxicated (DWI).

When the suspect next appears in court for a formal sentencing hearing, he is likely to be sentenced to 21 years in prison.

For further information about this case, go to the article, “Driver in Fiery DWI Crash That Killed Family of 3 Pleads Guilty.”

Millington NJ Fraud AttorneyFour New Jersey residents, including a Millington, NJ man, have been accused of attempting to defraud a bank out of $5 million in connection with an elaborate home loan scheme.

The four suspects are a 64-year-old man who resides in Millington in Long Hill Township, NJ, a 57-year-old Watchung man, a 50-year-old Warren, NJ man, and a 37-year-old woman who lives in Union, NJ.

According to the US Attorney’s Office, the suspects hid their identities by hiring “straw buyers” to obtain loans from a New Jersey bank.

Authorities investigated the suspects and eventually arrested the suspects.

The suspects have been charged with a federal crime for allegedly committing bank fraud.

If the suspects are convicted on the federal charges, they could potentially be sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Additionally, the Millington, NJ suspect could potentially be stripped of his license to practice law in NJ.

For additional information about this case, see the article, “4 Charged with Elaborate $5M Mortgage Fraud Scheme.”

DUI Lawyers in Mount Arlington NJA Howell, New Jersey man who admitted to being high on narcotics when causing a fatal car crash in Mount Arlington, NJ has lost his appeal.

The suspect is a man from Howell Township in Monmouth County, NJ. He was reportedly under the influence of drugs when he crashed into a police cruiser on a road in Mount Arlington, New Jersey. The crash caused the death of a police officer.

The suspect eventually reached a deal with Morris County prosecutors and pleaded guilty to charges for aggravated manslaughter. However, he ultimately made the decision to appeal the guilty plea and attempted to get blood and urine tests thrown out as evidence.

The blood tests that were administered to the suspect after the auto accident reportedly showed that he used heroin and other illegal narcotics before the crash.

An appellate court has now rejected the appeal. This means that the suspect will have to complete his 20-year prison sentence.

For additional information about this case, check out the article, “Man Convicted in DUI Crash That Killed Cop Loses Appeal on Blood Test.”

Roxbury Theft by Deception LawyerPolice recently arrested a Guttenberg, New Jersey man accused of scamming a Roxbury Township, NJ woman out of more than $31K for roofing work that was never performed.

The suspect is a 42-year-old man from Guttenberg in Hudson County, NJ. According to authorities, the suspect convinced the 78-year-old victim that she needed him to fix her roof.

The suspect allegedly got $31,500 in cash from the victim over a period of one week. When the victim realized that the suspect had not done any work on her home, she notified Roxbury police.

The suspect eventually returned to the residence, prompting the woman to dial 911. Police officers soon arrived at the scene and placed the suspect under arrest.

The suspect now faces several criminal charges, including charges for theft by deception, obstruction of administration of law, and resisting arrest.

For more information about this case, read the article, “Man Accused of Scamming 78-Year-Old Woman Out of $31.5K Over Fake Roof Repairs.”