Rockaway NJ Child Abuse SuspectsA woman and her husband, a man who used to serve in the US Army, are set to be re-sentenced in a high-profile child abuse case after a federal appeals court ordered that the trial court erred in the initial sentencing.

The couple resided in the Picatinny Arsenal, which is located in Rockaway Township, NJ.

According to federal authorities, the suspects abused their three adopted children over a period that lasted at least four years. The physical abuse reportedly entailed savage beatings that resulted in severe physical trauma. Additionally, the suspects allegedly withheld needed medical care from the kids.

After an investigation into child abuse allegations, the suspects were arrested by authorities and charged with federal crimes. Among the charges brought against the suspects were multiple counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

In July 2015, the suspects were convicted at trial and then punished. The female suspect was sentenced to 24 months in prison, while the male suspect was sentenced to three years of probation.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office, which had asked for far more severe penalties, appealed the sentences. Now a federal appeals court has declared that the trial court sentencing was not reasonable. As a result, the suspects will now be re-sentenced in accordance with federal sentencing guidelines.

For more information about this case, check out the article, “Army Couple Accused of Abusing Their 3 Kids May Get Stiffer Sentences.”

Child Endangerment Charges in Morristown, NJ

Morris County Criminal Defense Attorneys Fight Child Abuse Charges

Morristown NJ Child Endangerment LawyersThe experienced Morristown criminal defense attorneys at the Tormey Law Firm recently defended a client against child endangerment charges in Morristown, New Jersey. Our client faced criminal charges for endangering the welfare of a child. The charges stemmed from an alleged incident at a local store. According to prosecutors in the case, our client left his child in the car while it was parked outside. Police officers were called to the scene and arrested the dad. Needless to say, our client was shocked that he was being placed under arrest and criminally charged just for leaving his kid in the car for a few moments while he ran inside to get soup for his sick child.

Our client was charged with child endangerment and child abandonment. As set forth by N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4(a)(2), child endangerment is a second degree felony. This meant that our client could have been sentenced to 5-10 years in NJ State Prison if convicted. Fortunately, the client made a very sound decision and hired the experienced criminal defense lawyers at the Tormey Law Firm to represent him in the case. Our attorneys met with the client and then immediately got to work negotiating with the prosecutor. Before our client event had to set foot in a courtroom, we achieved the best possible outcome: dismissal of the criminal charges.

Severe Penalties for Child Endangerment and Child Abandonment in Morris County, NJ

N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4(a)(2) stipulates that any person with a legal duty to care for a child or any person who has assumed responsibility for the care of a child is guilty of a crime of the second degree when they cause the child harm that would make the child an abused or neglected child as defined in Title 9. Any other person who engages in conduct or who causes harm as described in the statute is guilty of a crime of the third degree.

N.J.S.A. 9:6-1 sets forth the penalties for child abandonment in New Jersey. The statute stipulates that abandonment of a child consists of any of the following acts by anyone with custody or control of the child: (a) willfully forsaking a child; (b) failing to care for and keep the control and custody of a child so that the child shall be exposed to physical or moral risk without proper and sufficient protection; (c) failing to care for and keep the control and custody of a child so that the child shall be liable to be supported and maintained at the expense of the public, or by child caring societies or private persons not legally chargeable with its or their care, custody, and control.

The criminal statutes clearly set a very high bar for child endangerment and child abandonment in NJ. That’s why the positive outcome to our client’s case was so important for the client. We utilized the available evidence and underlying facts to negotiate with the prosecution and reach a mutual agreement that resulted in the criminal charges being dismissed.

If you are charged with a crime in Morris County, New Jersey, whether it’s for a weapons offense, a drug crime, domestic violence, or child endangerment, the experienced NJ criminal defense lawyers at the Tormey Law Firm can help you. Contact us at our Morristown office today for immediate assistance.

Parsippany NJ Child Abuse ChargesParsippany New Jersey police recently arrested a local man at the Travelodge Inn after he reportedly threatened his kids and then refused to leave his motel room.

The scary incident unfolded around 8:30 a.m. at the Travelodge Inn, which is located on Route 46 in Parsippany, NJ. The Parsippany Police Department got a 911 call about a possible domestic disturbance and sent officers to the scene. A number of law enforcement agencies provided assistance, including the Morris County Sheriff’s Office and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office.

Police tried for more than an hour to get the suspect to exit his motel room. Eventually, members of the Morris County Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team managed to enter the motel room and take the suspect into custody.

Fortunately, the children were unharmed during the incident.

The suspect, a 33-year-old resident of Parsippany, has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Since the crime is a second degree felony, a conviction could potentially result in a sentence of 5-10 years in New Jersey State Prison.

Additionally, it’s possible that the suspect will be subject to a child abuse investigation by the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P), which used to be known as the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS). Depending on the outcome of the investigation, he could lose custody of his kids.

For further information about this case, read the article, “1 Taken into Custody After Police Swarm Morris Motel.”

Florham Park NJ Child Abuse LawyersFlorham Park law enforcement recently arrested an Irvington NJ woman accused of leaving her grandson alone in a parked vehicle. The woman was charged with child abuse and faces severe penalties.

The suspect, a 56-year-old Irvington resident, went to Florham Park for a dental appointment and took her four-year-old grandchild along with her.

The suspect reportedly left the young child in the car because “he was sleeping and she didn’t want to wake him.”

At some point, the kid got out of the motor vehicle and began to walk around the parking lot. Someone noticed him and contacted Florham Park police.

Police officers soon arrived at the scene and spoke to the suspect. They then placed the suspect under arrest and charged her with fourth degree child abuse.

If the suspect is ultimately convicted on the criminal charges, he could potentially be sentenced to up to 18 months in NJ State Prison.

Beyond that, the suspect might be subject to an investigation by the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P), which used to be known as the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS).

For more information about this case, view the article, “Grandmother Charged After Leaving 4-Year-Old in Car During Dental Visit.”

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.

Former NJ Deputy Attorney General Joins the Tormey Law Firm LLC

Morris County Criminal Defense LawyersThe Tormey Law Firm LLC is pleased to announce that Thomas Ercolano has joined the law firm as an associate attorney beginning September 1, 2016. Tom is a former judicial law clerk in Middlesex County. Tom also served as a Deputy Attorney General for the State of New Jersey for four years, prosecuting child abuse and child neglect cases for the State.

During his years as a Deputy Attorney General, Tom tried countless cases for the NJ Division of Child Protection and Permanency (formerly DYFS) and conducted Order to Show Cause custody hearings, case management conferences, pre-trial conferences, child abuse and neglect fact-findings, and termination of parental rights trials. During his tenure with the DCP&P, Tom learned what it takes to manage an extensive caseload and develop effective case strategy. He also worked with expert witnesses, including pediatricians, psychologists, and psychiatrists. In addition to developing his trial advocacy skills, Tom wrote numerous appellate briefs for DCP&P and presented oral arguments before the Appellate Division.

Practice Areas: DCP&P (DYFS) Defense, Criminal Defense, and Municipal Defense


  • Undergraduate: Lafayette College, 2007, Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy
  • Law School: Seton Hall University School of Law, 2010, Juris Doctor

Bar Admissions:

  • New Jersey, 2010
  • New York, 2011

Career Experience:

  • Judicial Clerk to the Honorable Roger W. Daley (Ret.), New Jersey Superior Court, Middlesex County
  • Deputy Attorney General, New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, Department of Children and Families Practice Group

Tom Ercolano is available immediately to assist you at 201-556-1570.

Montville NJ Child Endangerment LawyersMontville New Jersey police arrested a man who was allegedly intoxicated when he attempted to walk across Route 46 with a young child in tow.

A concerned citizen alerted the Montville Police Department to the situation after apparently witnessing the suspect trying to cross the highway with a small child.

The suspect allegedly got to Route 46 by walking from Bloomfield Avenue. He then reportedly crossed both westbound and eastbound lanes of the highway in order to get to the other side.

According to law enforcement, the danger was extreme because the incident occurred in the middle of a snowstorm; highway lanes were covered with snow at the time.

Authorities believe that the suspect was crossing the highway so that he could get to a Wendy’s restaurant located on Route 46 East.

Montville police were dispatched to the scene. A short time later, they located the suspect at his home in the Pine Brook section of Montville NJ.

The 25-year-old suspect was arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

According to police, the child is just 4 years old. Montville police have yet to officially confirm the relationship of the suspect to the child. However, a criminal complaint which was filed in Morris County Superior Court states that the suspect is the girl’s caretaker.

After being placed under arrest and processed, the suspect was transported to the Morris County Correctional Facility in Morristown, New Jersey. He is being held at the jail in lieu of $5,000 bail.


For additional information about this case, see the article entitled “Man Was Drunk When He Took Kid Out for Walk Across Highway During Snowstorm, Montville Police Say.”

Hanover Township Motel ShootingHanover Township NJ police arrested a man accused of shooting someone at a motel in Whippany, New Jersey.

The shooting occurred at the Econo Lodge motel on Route 10 in Whippany, NJ. Whippany is an unincorporated community in Hanover Township, NJ.

According to law enforcement, the 23-year-old suspect entered the motel and opened fire on the victim. Afterwards, the suspect reportedly fled the area.

The victim suffered a gunshot wound due to the shooting. He was immediately transported to a local hospital, where he got medical treatment for his injuries. Thankfully, doctors were able to ensure that the victim survived the shooting.

Multiple police agencies worked together on a joint investigation into the incident.

Shortly after the shooting, police searched the area for the suspect. Law enforcement eventually tracked down the suspect in Brooklyn NJ, where he was arrested without incident.

Police also captured a 24-year-old woman who was wanted in connection with the shooting. The female suspect hails from Paterson, New Jersey.

The main suspect, who lives in Boonton Township NJ, was charged with attempted murder, unlawful possession of a weapon, and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

According to officials, the suspect has a criminal record which includes an arrest for cocaine distribution and heroin distribution.

The female suspect in the shooting case was charged with endangering the welfare of a child and hindering apprehension.

After being placed under arrest, both suspects were being held in police custody by the New York Police Department. The suspects are soon set be extradited to Morris County, NJ.

Meanwhile, investigators continue to look into the incident. Members of the public with information about the suspects or the shooting are asked to call the Hanover Township Police Department at 973-428-2512, the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office at 973-285-6200, or the Morris County Crime Stoppers tip line at 973-267-2255.


For more information about this case, read the article entitled “Man Wanted in N.J. Motel Shooting Arrested in Brooklyn.”