Ex-Teacher Charged with Aggravated Sexual Assault of Juveniles in in Elizabeth, NJ

Elizabeth Sexual Assault SuspectAn ex-teacher at a middle school in Elizabeth, NJ was recently indicted on sexual assault charges. The defendant is Robert Goodlin, a 75-year-old man who previously taught at an Elizabeth middle school. Goodlin has been accused of sexually assaulting two underage students numerous times over a period of approximately 10 years.

The Union County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit started an investigation into Goodlin and ultimately concluded that he should be arrested and criminally charged. According to law enforcement officials, Goodlin sexually assaulted one juvenile victim from 1993 to 1998 while he worked as an industrial technology teacher at Joseph Battin School No. 4 in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Goodlin allegedly sexually assaulted the second underage victim in 2002 and 2003.

Despite the allegations against him, Goodlin was allowed to resign his teaching position at the Elizabeth, NJ middle school without being terminated. This allowed Goodlin to later work as a substitute teacher in other NJ school districts. Now the New Jersey legislature is looking to prevent this from happening in the future by passing a law to require schools to disclose sexual abuse allegations against teachers.

Severe Penalties for Sexual Assault in Elizabeth, New Jersey

Both alleged victims in the sex crime case were under 18. As a result, Goodlin has been charged with aggravated sexual assault. Unless Goodlin works out a plea agreement with prosecutors, he will probably stand trial in Union County Superior Court. He was already indicted by a Union County grand jury on 14 criminal counts: aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact, criminal sexual contact, and endangering the welfare of a child.

If the eventual trial results in Goodlin being convicted on the aggravated sexual assault charges, he would face significant prison time. As set forth by N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2, aggravated sexual assault is a first degree felony that carries a penalty of 10-20 years in NJ State Prison.

Free Consultation with an Experienced Union County Sex Crime Lawyer About Sexual Assault Charges

Were you arrested and charged with sexual assault, criminal sexual contact, child endangerment, or any other sex crime in Union County or Morris County, NJ? Then you should talk to a qualified criminal defense lawyer immediately. Travis J. Tormey is a skilled criminal attorney who can help you beat your charges. Contact him now to schedule a free initial consultation.

Were You Arrested and Charged with Disorderly Conduct at the St. Paddy’s Parade in Morristown, NJ?

Morristown St. Patrick's Day Parade Criminal LawyersThe 39th annual Morris County St. Patrick’s Day Parade starts at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 10th in Morristown, NJ. The Morristown parade is the largest Saint Paddy’s celebration in New Jersey and should draw more than 50,000 people, if the weather isn’t too bad this weekend. The parade will begin at the Morristown Town Hall on South Street and go past the Morristown Green, ending at Morristown High School on Atno Avenue.

Although the parade is a source of fun for most of the people in attendance, it can also be a source of trouble for some people. Every year, numerous individuals are arrested and face criminal charges and municipal ordinance violations. The reality is that a lot of the people in attendance at the parade will be frequenting many of the local Morristown businesses, including bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. Since law enforcement expects alcohol to cause problems for some of the parade attendees, police will be out in full force to try to “keep the peace.”

The most common citation issued by Morristown law enforcement at the St. Patrick’s Day parade is for disorderly conduct. There will also likely be citations and tickets issued for underage drinking, disturbing the peace, open containers of alcohol, simple assault, and resisting arrest. Moreover, minors could be cited for possession of fake IDs, while others could be arrested and face criminal charges for smoking marijuana.

If you are arrested and charged with a crime or a municipal ordinance violation at this year’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in Morristown, NJ, you need to talk to an experienced criminal attorney. The Morristown criminal defense lawyers at the Tormey Law Firm know how to help you fight your St. Patrick’s Day Parade charges and avoid a criminal conviction. Our skilled legal team has successfully gotten criminal charges downgraded or dismissed altogether. To discuss your case, call our office in Morristown at (908) 336-5008 or fill out our online contact form.

Disorderly Conduct Charges & Penalties in Morristown, New Jersey

Disorderly conduct is one of the most common charges issued to individuals attending the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in Morristown, New Jersey. That’s because disorderly conduct is a broad charge that covers a lot of behavior that might be considered “improper” by law enforcement – including the use of offensive language. As set forth by N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2, “improper behavior” means anything that causes or creates a risk of public inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm. Sometimes, this can involve fighting or other physical altercations. In a lot of instances, Morristown police issue a citation for disorderly conduct after someone has been drinking alcohol and lost control. A conviction for disorderly conduct is New Jersey is punishable by a sentence of up to 30 days in the local county jail and a fine of $500.

Alcohol-Related Charges at Morristown St. Patrick’s Day Parade

A lot of criminal charges and ordinance violations issued at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Morristown involve alcohol. For example, police can issue citations for open containers of alcohol – this happens when a parade attendee leaves a bar or restaurant with an alcoholic drink in hand. Additionally, underage people in possession of alcohol or false identification are also often charged with criminal offenses on St. Patrick’s Day. Since people tend to drink on Saint Patrick’s Day, couples can become involved in domestic violence incidents stemming from their alcohol use. A domestic dispute in Morristown, NJ can result in serious criminal charges and a restraining order. Finally, DWI/DUI charges are commonly brought against people who get drunk and then attempt to drive home from the St. Paddy’s Day Parade.

Marijuana Possession Arrests & Charges at Morristown St. Paddy’s Day Parade

Until NJ legislators change the drug laws in the state, possession and use of marijuana is strictly prohibited by the New Jersey Criminal Code. As a result, thousands of people end up being charged with simple possession of marijuana under 50 grams throughout Morris County and the rest of NJ every year. During the Morristown Saint Paddy’s Day Parade, police will be on the lookout for people who smell of marijuana, people who are found smoking marijuana, and people who are driving in the area with marijuana in their car. If you are charged with simple possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana in Morristown, it is considered a disorderly persons offense. A conviction could lead to you being sentenced to up to 6 months in the Morris County Jail, fined up to $1,000, and the loss of your driver’s license for 6 months.

Were You Arrested on Saint Patrick’s Day? Contact an Experienced Morristown Criminal Lawyer Today!

If you attended the Morris County St. Paddy’s Day Parade and now face drug charges, alcohol charges, or disorderly conduct charges in Morristown, NJ, you need skilled legal representation. Contact the Tormey Law Firm in Morristown now at (908) 336-5008 to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced criminal attorney.

For more information about this year’s Morristown St. Patrick’s Day Parade, visit the parade day website.

Morristown, NJ Man Allegedly Robbed Victim Outside Local Wells Fargo Bank

Morristown Carjacking LawyersA man from Morristown, New Jersey has been charged with several crimes after he allegedly committed a carjacking at a bank. The suspect is 37-year-old Michael Conway, who lives in Morristown in Morris County, NJ. According to authorities, Conway used a handgun to hold up a victim in the parking lot of the Wells Fargo Bank on Ridgedale Avenue in Morristown. When the victim pulled his car into the bank parking lot at approximately 5:40 p.m., Conway allegedly approached the vehicle on foot. Conway then allegedly told the driver that he had a firearm and threatened to shoot him unless he handed over money.

Once the victim gave up his wallet, Conway allegedly instructed him to exit the vehicle. Conway then reportedly got behind the wheel and drove away with both the victim’s cash and the victim’s car.

The Morristown Police Department and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office conducted a joint investigation into the theft offense and eventually found the stolen vehicle. An arrest warrant was subsequently issued for Conway. Morristown police officers later located Conway and arrested him without incident.

Harsh Penalties for Carjacking in Morris County, New Jersey

Conway faces numerous criminal charges: carjacking, robbery, and auto theft. Conway has not yet been charged with any weapons offenses because authorities are unclear as to whether he actually possessed a gun during the alleged carjacking incident.

The most serious charge against Conway is the carjacking charge, which is considered a first degree felony under N.J.S.A. 2C:15-2. The statute classifies carjacking as a special type of first degree felony, so it can result in enhanced penalties. While most first degree crimes carry a maximum punishment of 20 years in NJ State Prison, carjacking can result in a sentence of 30 years behind bars because it is a particularly dangerous violent crime.

After Conway was identified and placed under arrest, he was moved to Morristown police headquarters so that he could be processed. He was later taken to the Morris County Jail in Morristown, New Jersey, where he is being held until a bail hearing. Depending on the outcome of the detention hearing in Morris County Superior Court, Conway may be required to remain incarcerated until his case is resolved. That’s because new bail guidelines in NJ call for defendants who have been accused of violent criminal offenses to stay behind bars while the charges remain pending.

Free Consultation with an Aggressive Criminal Lawyer in Morristown, NJ

The Tormey Law Firm is a legal team that handles all kinds of criminal charges in New Jersey, including charges for carjacking, armed robbery, auto theft, and aggravated assault. If you or a loved one was arrested and charged with a violent crime in Morristown, NJ, our experienced criminal attorneys can help. Contact us immediately to schedule a free initial consultation.

Blairstown, NJ Man Accused of Molesting Teens at Budd Lake Bagel Shop

Mount Olive Sex Crime AttorneyA man who runs a bagel shop located in Mount Olive, NJ faces criminal charges for allegedly molesting three boys who were employed at the restaurant. The suspect is Bajram Leka, a 58-year-old from Blairstown in Warren County, NJ. Leka owns Adams Hot Bagels and Grill, a restaurant on Route 46 in the Budd Lake part of Mount Olive Township. According to police, Leka “inappropriately” touched the three victims while supervising them at the restaurant and grill. The victims’ identities have not been revealed by authorities.

Two of the alleged victims initially contacted law enforcement to report that Leka had committed the sex offenses. Mount Olive Township police detectives investigated the sex crime allegations and found a third victim. At the conclusion of the investigation, a warrant was issued for Leka’s arrest. The Budd Lake bagel restaurant owner then turned himself in to Mount Olive police. He was processed at police headquarters and moved to the Morris County Correctional Facility in Morristown, NJ.

Severe Penalties for Criminal Sexual Contact in Morris County, New Jersey

Leka faces criminal charges for three counts of criminal sexual contact. This is felony-level offense with severe penalties that include prison time, a criminal record, and a requirement to register as a sex offender. N.J.S.A. 2C:14-3 stipulates that criminal sexual contact is either a third degree felony or a fourth degree felony, depending on the circumstances of the offense. In this case, Leka has been charged with fourth degree criminal sexual contact. In certain cases when the prosecution can’t bring charges of aggravated sexual assault, the defendant may be charged with criminal sexual contact instead. A conviction in the Budd Lake sex crime case could result in Leka, the defendant, being ordered to serve 18 months in NJ State Prison.

Charged with a Sex Offense? Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Morris County Criminal Attorney

If you’ve been arrested and charged with a sex crime like criminal sexual contact or sexual assault in Morris County, NJ, you need to speak with a qualified criminal lawyer. Travis J. Tormey and the other attorneys at the Tormey Law Firm can help you fight your sex crime charges and avoid the most severe penalties. Contact us now to discuss your options.

Jefferson Township Man Allegedly Assaulted Girlfriend, Resisted Arrest

New Jersey State Trooper ShootingAuthorities have cleared a New Jersey State Police trooper who shot a domestic violence suspect in Jefferson Township last year. The police shooting happened in May 2017. New Jersey State troopers went to a residence on Brady Road in Jefferson Township, NJ after police received a report of an assault. According to officials, the suspect’s girlfriend was found walking along Route 80 with visible injuries to her face. Police determined that the suspect assaulted his girlfriend in a car on Route 80 and then ordered the victim out of the car before driving away.

When NJ State Police troopers went to the Jefferson Township home of the suspect, they found 36-year-old Matthew Gerndt inside the house. Gerndt allegedly charged at police when they entered the home. One of the troopers then shot at Gerndt, striking him one time in the left buttock. Gerndt was then placed under arrest and taken to Morristown Medical Center for medical treatment. Gerndt’s blood was drawn at the hospital, with the blood test reportedly showing that Gerndt had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .29 percent. Although Gerndt’s BAC was significantly higher than the legal limit of .08 percent in NJ, he was not charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) because police could not prove that he was driving a motor vehicle while drunk.

Gerndt was still charged with multiple crimes: domestic violence assault and resisting arrest. Those criminal charges are still pending, so Gerndt would likely face severe penalties if he is convicted in Morris County Superior Court in Morristown, New Jersey.

NJ State Trooper Cleared in Shooting of Domestic Violence Suspect

The New Jersey State trooper who shot Gerndt was investigated by the NJ Attorney General’s Office, which is what happens in all NJ police shootings. That investigation led to the trooper being cleared of wrongdoing in the case. According to officials, the trooper was legally justified in the shooting because Gerndt attempted to assault the troopers when they entered the Jefferson Township house.

Investigators said that the New Jersey State troopers clearly identified themselves as police officers before opening each door inside the residence. The troopers also got authorization from the landlord prior to going inside the home.

Contact an Experienced Jefferson Township Domestic Violence Attorney Today

Travis J. Tormey is a knowledgeable domestic violence lawyer who helps clients in criminal cases and at restraining order hearings in Jefferson Township, NJ. If you have been accused of domestic violence assault or any other crime in Jefferson, NJ, Attorney Tormey is prepared to represent you. Contact Attorney Tormey today to discuss your case.

Mendham Township Cop Claimed That Superiors Ordered Him to Target Young Drivers for Traffic Tickets

Mendham Township Traffic LawyersA police officer with the Mendham Township Police Department has settled a lawsuit that alleged that he got denied job promotions because he refused to issue traffic tickets to younger drivers. The case involved Mendham Township Patrol Officer Robert Wysokowski and highlighted what some believe to be a serious problem among police departments through NJ: police profiling of certain types of young drivers by municipalities who are trying to generate quick cash through traffic tickets.

Wysokowski claimed that Mendham Sergeant Stephen Crawford ordered patrol cops to target young motorists to help the police department meet ticket quotas. According to Wysokowski, Crawford told him to “pull over any car with a group of young drivers.” Additionally, said Wysokowski, Crawford told him and other Mendham Township police officers to be on the lookout for motor vehicles with visible Morris County College parking permits.

Wysokowski reportedly refused to profile young drivers, prompting his bosses to retaliate against him in various ways. For example, claimed Wysokowski, he was denied multiple job promotion opportunities. Moreover, said Wysokowski, his superiors repeatedly gave him low ratings and performance reviews that made it difficult for him to secure pay bonuses.

Civil Lawsuit Over Alleged Traffic Quotas in Mendham Township, NJ

When Wysokowski filed a discrimination complaint and claimed whistleblower status, the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office conducted an internal affairs probe. That probe did not find any evidence of criminal conduct by anyone associated with the Mendham Township Police Department – so no criminal charges were filed in the case.

However, Wysokowski was still able to file a civil lawsuit seeking damages related to alleged employment discrimination. Wysokowski filed the civil suit in Morris County Superior Court and alleged that his bosses told him that targeting younger drivers for traffic violations would be considered “good police work.” The case did not reach trial in court because Wysokowski ultimately settled the lawsuit with Mendham Township for $650,000.

Contact a Mendham Township Traffic Ticket Attorney Today!

Were you cited for a traffic offense in Mendham Township, NJ? Then it may be possible for you to fight the traffic ticket and keep your license clear of points. Skilled Morris County traffic attorney Travis J. Tormey represents clients in municipal courts in Morris County and throughout New Jersey. Contact him now to explore your options.

Boonton Detectives Investigate Knife Fight Outside Local Residence

Assault Attorneys in Boonton NJPolice in Boonton, NJ are investigating a recent stabbing that occurred outside a local home. The Boonton Police Department sent officers to a residence on the 200 block of Cornelia Street after receiving a 911 call shortly before 6:20 p.m. The caller was a 25-year-old man who said that someone stabbed him with a knife during a violent fight. When Boonton police officers got to the scene roughly 20 minutes later, they found the victim waiting outside and suffering from a stab wound to his upper torso. The victim was transported to Morristown Medical Center, where doctors treated him for his injury.

Stephen Jones, the Boonton police captain, later issued a news release about the violent incident. Jones stated that the victim reported unexpectedly encountering the suspect when he came from the victim’s backyard. The victim did not know the suspect and did not have any idea why he was on his property. When the victim confronted the suspect, the two of them got into a verbal dispute that quickly escalated and became physical. At some point, the victim reportedly took out a knife that he typically keeps on him for self-defense; however, the victim lost control of the weapon, allowing the suspect to grab it. The suspect reportedly used the knife against the victim and stabbed him in the chest.

Penalties for Aggravated Assault & Weapons Offenses in Boonton, New Jersey

Afterwards, the suspect fled the scene of the violent crime. The victim alerted Boonton police, which dispatched cops to the area. Boonton officers were joined by officers from other law enforcement agencies, including the Mountain Lakes Police Department, the Boonton Township Police Department, and the Morris County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit. Despite canvassing the area around the Boonton home in search of the suspect, police could not find him.

If police are eventually able to arrest the stabbing suspect, he could be charged with aggravated assault or maybe even attempted murder. Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, which is addressed by the NJ Criminal Code in N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b), is a second degree felony and can result in a penalty of 5-10 years in NJ State Prison. Beyond that, since aggravated assault is one of the violent crimes listed in the No Early Release Act (NERA), anyone who is convicted of this offense would have to serve at least 85% of their prison sentence before they are eligible for parole.

Interestingly, the victim in the Boonton stabbing case might also be subject to criminal charges. The victim told Boonton detectives that he carried the knife for self-defense, but that claim will likely need to be investigated by police. In fact, it’s possible that the victim could be charged with possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. As set forth by N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4, possession of a knife for an unlawful purpose is a third degree felony and carries a penalty of 3-5 years in New Jersey State Prison. (Possessing a handgun under similar circumstances is a second degree felony and carries a possible penalty of 5-10 years in state prison.)

Schedule a Free Consultation with Aggressive Criminal Attorneys in Morris County, NJ

If you or a loved one has been charged with a violent crime in Morris County, you need to talk to a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The experienced criminal lawyers at the Tormey Law Firm have successfully defended clients against aggravated assault charges in Boonton, Parsippany, Dover, and elsewhere in Morris County, NJ. Contact us today to discuss your case.

Jefferson Township Police Arrest Man Who Allegedly Broke into Residence and Secretly Recorded Sex Video

Jefferson Township Sex Crime LawyersJefferson Township law enforcement arrested a local man accused of a sex crime that involved breaking into a home and recording a video of two residents having sex. According to officials, 19-year-old Jason Scheidecker illegally entered the victims’ house in the Oak Ridge section of Jefferson Township approximately one year ago. Once inside the home, Scheidecker allegedly used his cell phone to secretly record two people having sexual relations.

The victims learned about the home invasion when Scheidecker allegedly posted the explicit video on the social media website Twitter. Law enforcement soon got involved, prompting the video to be removed from the site. Over the course of the next 10 months, Jefferson Township police investigated the criminal act and ultimately identified Scheidecker as the main suspect. Scheidecker, who lives in the same Oak Ridge part of Jefferson Township as the victims, was later placed under arrest.

Sex Offense Charges & Penalties in NJ

Scheidecker faces multiple criminal charges, including invasion of privacy and burglary. The most serious charge is the invasion of privacy charge, which covers the suspect’s initial act of secretly recording the victims and the suspect’s later act of posting the video online.

It is illegal for a person in NJ to film or record a person engaged in sexual relations without their permission. This crime carries severe penalties that include jail time and Megan’s Law sex offender registration requirements for life. Scheidecker not only faces the invasion of privacy charges, but he could also be charged with sex crime charges if prosecutors decide that there is enough evidence in the case.

Scheidecker will also have to answer a drug crime charge. That’s because he already had an arrest warrant for possession of drug paraphernalia out of Passaic County, New Jersey. When police learned about the outstanding warrant, they took Scheidecker to the Passaic County Jail in Paterson. Scheidecker was being held at the correctional facility without bail. Possession of drug paraphernalia is classified as a disorderly persons offense and does not usually require the offender to be held in jail. However, the warrant in this case was issued as a no-bail warrant.

Free Consultation with Experienced Criminal Lawyers About Your Sex Crime Charges in Morris County, NJ

Were you charged with a sex crime in Morris County, New Jersey? You really need to talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer and start building a strong defense. Travis Tormey is a knowledgeable criminal attorney who can help you fight your sex offense charges. Contact Attorney Tormey today.

North Bergen Man Killed Victim with Hammer & Hid Body in Lincoln Park, New Jersey

Lincoln Park Homicide ConvictionCarlos Rojas will stay in prison for the violent killing of his stepfather’s cousin. Rojas is a 27-year-old man from North Bergen, New Jersey. On August 3, 2011, he used a hammer to bludgeon 27-year-old Esteban Hernandez-Vazquez in a garage in Fairview, NJ. The garage was owned by a mechanic who was in the process of teaching Rojas to repair motor vehicles. According to Morris County prosecutors, Rojas and Hernandez-Vazquez got into a verbal argument about $4,000. Things turned physical and Rojas grabbed a hammer from his backpack and struck Hernandez-Vazquez in the head. When Hernandez-Vazquez fell to the ground, Rojas hit him another eight more.

Rojas and his mechanic friend, Oscar Benedicto-Aleman, later placed the victim’s body into the trunk of a 1996 Toyota Camry. Rojas drove the vehicle to Lincoln Park, New Jersey, while Benedicto-Aleman followed in a different car. Rojas and Benedicto-Aleman abandoned the Camry at the bottom of an embankment. The following day, Lincoln Park police discovered the abandoned vehicle with the victim’s body in the trunk.

Rojas and Benedicto-Aleman were arrested and charged with multiple crimes. Rojas eventually went to trial to face charges for first degree murder, kidnapping, unlawful possession of a weapon, theft of movable property, hindering apprehension, and desecrating human remains. (Meanwhile, Benedicto-Aleman made a plea agreement with the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office and pleaded guilty to desecration of human remains.)

At the end of a trial in Morris County Superior Court, a jury found Rojas guilty on aggravated manslaughter charges, as well as the other felony charges. The superior court judge then sentenced Rojas to 30 years behind bars in NJ State Prison. (20 years for aggravated manslaughter, seven years for desecrating human remains, and three years for hindering apprehension.) When the trial court judge issued the sentence, he noted that Rojas was not truthful when speaking to investigators and showed no remorse for the brutal murder.

New Jersey Court Rejects Appeal in Aggravated Manslaughter Case

Rojas appealed his criminal conviction to the Superior Court of NJ, Appellate Division and argued that his conviction ought to be overturned because the trial court judge did not properly answer questions asked by the jury. Rojas also argued that his legal counsel was ineffective and that the judge’s sentence was “excessive.”

The appellate court rejected and Rojas’ appeal and saw “no reason to disturb the sentences imposed.” The New Jersey appellate court’s ruling means that Rojas will stay in prison until at least 2028 – when he will be eligible for release on parole.

Free Consultation with an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Morris County, New Jersey

Travis J. Tormey defends clients against charges of manslaughter, aggravated assault, and other violent crimes in Morris County, NJ. If you or a loved one was arrested and charged with a crime in New Jersey, contact Attorney Tormey now to schedule a free consultation at his Morristown office.

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.