Day: December 23, 2022

Two Teens Charged With Murder, Robbery And Weapons Offences In Killing Of Basketball Player Over $800. Weed

December 23, 2022

HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri and Hopewell Police Chief James Rosso reported today that two teenage males have been arrested for last week’s fatal shooting of 20-year-old Philip Urban.

The 16-year-old male from Pennington, NJ, and the 17-year-old male from Hopewell, NJ, were taken into custody this afternoon at the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.  Both defendants are charged with murder, felony murder, robbery and weapons offenses.  They will be lodged at the Middlesex County Youth Detention Center pending detention hearings.

The charges are the result of an investigation by the Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the Hopewell Township Police Department.  At approximately 7 p.m. on Saturday, December 17, 2022, Hopewell police responded to the Hopewell Valley Nature Preserve off of Harbourton-Woodsville Road.  Upon arrival, officers located a white Mercedes C300 on a trail with a male slumped over in the driver’s seat.  The victim, later identified as Urban, 20, of Manalapan, was transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead from a gunshot wound a short time later. 

Investigation revealed that the juveniles planned to rob Urban of a quarter-pound of marijuana for $800.  It is alleged that both defendants participated in the preparation, murder and coverup.  Urban was lured to the gravel entry to the nature preserve where he was robbed of the marijuana, then shot and killed.

Because the defendants are juveniles, any further identification is being withheld.  The case will be screened by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office to determine if it is appropriate to seek waiver to adult court.

Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Post University Basketball Player, 20-year-old Philip Urban, Manalapan, NJ

Post University Basketball Player, 20-year-old Philip Urban, Manalapan, NJ

The scene at the Nature Preserve in Hopewell Township, NJ where they shooting occurred.

Post University Basketball Player, 20-year-old Philip Urban, Manalapan, NJ graduated from The Pennington School last year.

The 16-year-old male from Pennington, NJ, and the 17-year-old male from Hopewell, NJ, were taken into custody this afternoon at the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.  Both defendants are charged with murder, felony murder, robbery and weapons offenses.  They will be lodged at the Middlesex County Youth Detention Center pending detention hearings.

East Windsor’s Leena Sandhu Selected to Ride on the 2023 Donate Life Rose Parade float in Pasadena, CA

December 23, 2022

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – NJ Sharing Network recently honored kidney transplant recipient Harleen (Leena) Sandhu of East Windsor, New Jersey, as she gets set to participate in the 2023 Donate Life Rose Parade float during the 2023 Rose Parade in Pasadena, California, on January 2, 2023. Leena will ride on the float, which is the world’s most visible campaign to inspire people to save and enhance lives with the powerful message of organ and tissue donation. The Sharing Network Foundation is the proud sponsor of Leena’s trip to the 2023 Rose Parade.

Leena grew up in Central New Jersey after immigrating from India with her parents when she was a year old. At age 16, while a sophomore at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School, she was diagnosed with lupus, an autoimmune disease that attacks the body’s healthy tissue. During her time in college at Rutgers University, Leena’s condition worsened. Ultimately, her kidneys failed, and she started dialysis.

“I struggled every day for five years while I was on dialysis,” said Leena. “While waiting for a transplant miracle, I mentally felt hopeful, but physically, I was very fatigued all of the time.”

Leena’s mother, Daljeet Sandhu, helped make that miracle come true. Thankfully, Daljeet was able to be a living kidney donor. Stuart R. Geffner, MD, and the medical team at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center performed the successful transplant surgery in September 1997.

“My mother’s selfless gift gave me a second chance at life,” said Leena. “I am grateful beyond words because it allowed me to live a normal life – something many people take for granted.”

For the next 18 years, Leena’s health and energy were fully restored thanks to her mother’s kidney. At 27, she was excited to start her first job post college at the American Red Cross, and then settled into a career in Medical Device Product Management. As an avid traveler, she enjoyed the freedom to explore countries across the world without the restrictions of a dialysis machine.

Unfortunately, in 2015, the transplanted kidney failed, and Leena was, once again, placed on dialysis. Four months later, Leena was matched to a deceased organ donor and underwent a second successful transplant once again performed by Dr. Geffner and the Cooperman Barnabas medical team.

Organ donation through a living and deceased donor has given Leena a second chance at life twice. Leena has now trekked to 30 countries and visited 41 states, enjoys gardening, photography, and the outdoors. She also got married in 2018.

During all her adventures and experiences, Leena is forever mindful of the selfless decisions made by her mother and her organ donor. Leena volunteers with NJ Sharing Network and is excited to be part of the 2023 Rose Parade.

“The biggest gift you can give someone is the opportunity to lead a healthy life,” said Leena. “Organ donors are truly heroes in every way.”

According to United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), there are over 100,000 Americans – nearly 4,000 of whom live in New Jersey – waiting for a life-saving transplant. One organ and tissue donor can save eight lives and enhance the lives of over 75 others. To learn more, get involved and register as an organ and tissue donor, visit

Leena Sandhu and her husband, Brett Scott (Photo Courtesy of NJ Sharing Network)

South Brunswick Fatal Crash Update

December 23, 2022

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Chief Raymond Hayducka of the South Brunswick Police Department announced today that a fatal crash occurred on December 22, 2022, on Beekman Road in South Brunswick Township.

An investigation by Detective Bryan Garrison of the South Brunswick Police Department and Detective Jonathan Berman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office determined that on December 22, 2022, at 4:26 P.M., authorities responded to the intersection of Beekman Road near Old Beekman Road following the report of a multi-vehicle crash. Upon their arrival, authorities determined that a Dodge Charger was leaving the scene of a crime and ultimately crashed into three vehicles, unrelated to the crime perpetuated by the suspects of the Charger. The rear passenger of the Dodge Charger was found deceased in the vehicle, and the suspects fled the scene on foot. The occupants of the vehicles were transported to local hospitals to receive treatment for their injuries.

The suspects, which fled, have not been apprehended at this time and the deceased occupant’s identity is being withheld pending notification to his next of kin.

The investigation is active and continuing. Authorities are seeking the public’s assistance in locating a dark colored sedan that was in the area at the time of the crash.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Garrison of the South Brunswick Police Department at (732) 329-4000 X 7486 or Detective Berman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4328.

Brandywine Living Spreads Holiday Cheer to Seniors with Gourmet Meals

December 23, 2022

Englishtown, NJ — The residents of Brandywine Living at Governor’s Crossing enjoy the holiday season with parties and fine dining but know many of their senior neighbors have a less jolly holiday. In an effort to spread cheer to local seniors in need the senior living community headed out on Friday, December 23, 2022, to deliver complimentary gourmet holiday meals.

The tradition started in 2020 when many local seniors in the community could not spend the holidays with family due to the pandemic. The leadership team of Brandywine Living quickly got into action and set out with fifty holiday meals to deliver to those in need. The program has since grown with over 100 meals delivered this year for the holiday weekend.

“I’m always proud of our team members for coming together to uplift our local community. But this year I was completely blown away by the amazing entrees created by our new Dining Services Director, Chris Masker. He has outdone himself for the sake of bringing joy to others,” commented Brittany Franco, Director of Community Relations for Brandywine Living.

Brittany along with other Brandywine team members set out in the early afternoon to hand deliver the meals to seniors in Monroe, Marlboro and Manalapan. Each meal included a traditional turkey dinner finished with creamy cheesecake.

Although restrictions for covid-19 have lessened since the pandemic, tremendous positive feedback has made this new holiday tradition a permanent one. Brandywine Living looks forward to continuing to grow their annual holiday meals program.

Brandywine Living at Governor’s Crossing is located at 49 Lasatta Ave, Englishtown, NJ 07726. For more information call (732) 786-1000 or visit

Georgian Court-Hackensack Meridian Health School of Nursing and Wellness Graduates 29 With Traditional Pinning Ceremony

December 23, 2022

LAKEWOOD (December 23, 2022) –Georgian Court-Hackensack Meridian Health School of Nursing and Wellness recently celebrated the graduation of 29 students who successfully completed the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) during the 19th pinning ceremony.

The pinning tradition goes back to the 1800s and it represents the nursing education journey.  The pin, which symbolizes the new nursing credentials, is presented by a faculty member selected by the student who has supported or mentored them throughout this journey.  As part of the ceremony, the graduates state the Florence Nightingale Pledge, the nursing equivalent of the physicians’ Hippocratic Oath: to do their best, never do harm, and always put the care of patients first. Graduates also participated in the Presentation of the Roses, handing out roses to the special people in their life who helped them achieve their goals. “The nursing pinning ceremony is a celebration of our students’ hard work through their educational program and hallmarks their initiation into the profession,” said Teri Wurmser, Ph.D., the nursing school’s dean. “Our winter 2022 graduates overcame multiple challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and have grown into confident, competent, compassionate professional nurses who will guide healthcare into the future.”

Approximately 85% of GCU nursing students are employed within a Hackensack Meridian Health facility within 3-6months of completion of their degree.“We overcame a lot to get here. Each and every one of you should feel incredibly proud of what we have accomplished. Not everyone can do what we do,” said Georgia Carros, of Wall,NJ, who gave the class address during ceremony. She reflected, “Through our time together I have grown to genuinely respect and care for each one of my classmates — which is why I am so excited to see what they all go forward to accomplish in their nursing careers.”

Carros was also named the recipient of the Rich Hader Academic Excellence Award for being the student with the highest GPA.  She has accepted a position as an RN at the emergency room at Ocean University Medical Center, where she currently works as a patient care technician.

Several other graduates also received awards:

Rosemary Jeffries Mercy Core Values Award recognizes the student who most exemplifies the core mercy values of justice, respect, integrity, compassion and service – Samayra Vincent, Matawan, NJ.
The Catherine McAuley Spirit of Nursing Award recognizes students who best demonstrate the spirit of the Nursing profession – Angelica Marie Mancusi, Monroe Twp, NJ and Anna Wnek, South Amboy, NJ.

List of the 2022 December Nursing Graduates:

Martha Donnelly, Bayville, NJ; Alexandria Forsyth, Bayville, NJ; Kaitlyn Conner, Brick, NJ; Danielle Dampf, Brick, NJ; Olivia Bartholomew, Brick, NJ; Kaylee Hoffman, Brick, NJ; Ramesha Qureshi, Colonia, NJ; Mia Dragovic, Howell, NJ; Brittany Lucey, Howell, NJ; Kristen Sheehan, Jackson, NJ; Kimberly Kammer, Keansburg, NJ; Dominique Albert, Manalapan, NJ; Vincent Carnesi, Manalapan, NJ; Victoria Payor, Manchester, NJ; Samayra Vincent, Matawan, NJ; Angelica Mancusi, Monroe Twp, NJ; Marissa Simoncini, Forked River,NJ; Melissa Kuligoski, Forked River,NJ; Amanda Brill, Old Bridge, NJ; Marilyn Ruiz-Estrada, Tinton,Falls NJ; Renee Ribecca, Tinton Falls, NJ; Esther Klein, Toms River, NJ; Bryana Marks, Toms River, NJ; Danielle Payton, Toms River, NJ; Brittany Tuite, Toms River, NJ; Georgia Carros, Wall, NJ; Kerry Mendes, Whiting, NJ; Gianna Morreale, Staten Island,NY.

 Georgian Court-Hackensack Meridian Health School of Nursing and Wellness offers a variety of nursing education programs including the BSN, a 14-month Accelerated BSN, the New Seminary Accelerated Nursing program for Jewish women, and a Direct Entry Master of Science in nursing. 

Fatal Crash Investigation In South Brunswick; Driver Still On The Run

December 23, 2022

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Police reported that the South Brunswick Police Department in conjunction with the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office continues to investigate the circumstances surrounding the fatal crash on Beekman Road Thursday. At 4:26 pm police received several 911 calls of a crash on Beekman Road near Old Beekman Road.  Arriving officers found four vehicles involved. A backseat passenger in one vehicle was deceased and the driver of that vehicle had fled. A search was conducted using K9 and multiple officers, but the driver was not located. Three people in the other vehicles were injured, one seriously.

The crash and ongoing investigation involved multiple agencies. South Brunswick Police thank the Kendall Park Fire Department, Kendall Park First Aid Squad, South Brunswick EMS, Monmouth Junction First Aid Squad, Middlesex County Office of Emergency Management, Franklin Township Police Department, Somerset County Sheriff’s Office, Somerset County Prosecutors Office, and the FBI for all their assistance.

Anyone with information on the crash is asked to call South Brunswick Police at (732)329-4646.

The Middlesex County Prosecutors Office may be providing additional information later.

Woman Looking To Hire Hitman To Kill Ex-Husband’s New Wife And 13-Year-Old Daughter Charged With First-Degree Attempted Murder And Money Laundering

December 23, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A recent investigation by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Special Investigations Unit culminated this week with the arrest of a Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania woman for attempting to hire an undercover officer to murder her ex-husband’s current wife, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported.

Marilyn Zhou, 56, is charged with two counts of first-degree attempted murder and one count of third-degree money laundering.  The prosecutor’s office has filed a motion to detain her pending trial.

Earlier this month, the SIU received information that Zhou was looking for assistance with a murder for hire.  On Sunday morning, December 18, 2022, Zhou met with an undercover officer in Trenton, New Jersey, where she advised the officer she wanted them to murder her ex-husband’s new wife.  Zhou provided the officer with two color photographs of the victim, $21,000 in cash, rubber nitrile gloves and a towel to carry out the murder.  She also told the undercover officer that if the victim’s 13-year-old daughter was present at the time of the murder, she should also be murdered.  Zhou stated she would pay the undercover officer an additional $20,000 once the murder was complete.

Moments after the meeting, Zhou was taken into custody by the SIU.  Later that evening, members of the SIU assisted the Pennsylvania State Police in executing a search warrant at Zhou’s residence in Chadds Ford.  Detectives seized $18,000 and also located items she advised the undercover officer to use during the murder.

Despite having been charged, all persons are presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Marilyn Zhou, 56, is charged with two counts of first-degree attempted murder and one count of third-degree money laundering.  The prosecutor’s office has filed a motion to detain her pending trial.

NRA Affiliate, Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs Files Lawsuit Against New Jersey’s New Gun Law

December 23, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A New Jersey affiliate of the National Rifle Association, Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs, Inc. filed a lawsuit yesterday just as the ink dried on A4769/S3214 creating a new law that makes various revisions to requirements for obtaining a firearm purchaser identification card, permit to purchase a handgun, and permit to carry a handgun; codifies sensitive places in which firearms and destructive devices are prohibited.

The lawsuit states, “The State of New Jersey has, apparently, not gotten the message. Having lost the ability to suppress the fundamental right to bear arms in public through its now dead and buried “justifiable need” requirement,1 New Jersey has shifted gears and has made a permit to carry a handgun utterly useless. New Jersey has passed a new law, Assembly Bill A4769, which allows a permit holder to carry almost nowhere in the State. New Jersey has simply changed its approach from one unconstitutional law that allowed “no one” to carry to another unconstitutional law that allows on to carry “nowhere.” Notwithstanding the clear ruling of the United States Supreme Court, New Jersey simply does not want ordinary people to carry handguns in public—as is their fundamental right to do. “

“Plaintiffs seek declaratory and immediate and urgent injunctive relief: a declaration that New Jersey’s brand new law comprehensively suppressing the fundamental right to bear arms in public as set forth in Bruen is unconstitutional and injunctive relief precluding its enforcement.”

“A4769, freshly signed into law, is the State of New Jersey’s blatant refusal to accept the ruling of the United States Supreme Court. On June 24, 2022, the day after the Bruen decision was handed down, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced his plan to undermine the ruling in every way possible, and he and the New Jersey Legislature have made good on that unlawful promise.”

“While the Supreme Court declared that individuals have a fundamental right to carry handguns in most public places, with very limited exceptions such as courthouses, legislative assemblies and polling places, A4769 bans the carry of handguns nearly everywhere in the State of New Jersey. A4769 Section 7.”

A4769 also imposes crushing financial penalties on the exercise of the constitutional right, including forcing a person to purchase liability insurance that does not presently exist and massively raising permit fees.

“A4769 creates onerous new hurdles in the permit process, requiring personal interviews of the applicant and her references, as well as forcing references to prepare what amounts to an essay in support of the application—all this when the Supreme Court plainly prohibited permitting schemes that interfere with the right to carry. 12. A4769 invites arbitrary, subjective action by permitting authorities, through vague discretionary permitting criteria, precisely what the Supreme Court ruled is not allowed.”

A full copy of the lawsuit and bills are posted below:

You can read about the law in yesterday’s story here:

The National Rifle Association said in a Tweet, “NRA looks forward to getting another win vindicating our members constitutional rights in the Garden State. The lawsuit, titled Siegel v. Platkin, lists the NRA’s state affiliate, ANJRPC, as a plaintiff.”

Governor Murphy Signs Gun Safety Legislation

Governor Murphy Signs Gun Safety Legislation with Attorney General Matt Platkin, Senate President Nick Scutari, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, Giffords Law Center Chief Counsel and Policy Director Adam Skaggs, Moms Demand Action Shani Nuckols, and Mayor Joshua Losardo in Scotch Plains on December 22, 2022