FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH) – A 43-year-old man has been found guilty of stalking a then-14-year-old girl in Hazlet several years ago, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced Friday.
Shyam Gurung, formerly of Jersey City, was convicted by a Monmouth County Jury of fourth-degree Stalking earlier this week, following deliberations taking place over two days and a weeklong trial.
A May 2017 investigation led by the Hazlet Police Department revealed that Gurung, who was working as an Uber and Lyft driver at the time, drove his black Infiniti sedan to the area of the Hazlet Middle School on multiple occasions in order to see the victim.
On one such occasion, Gurung approached the child as she walked home from school and told her that she was “pretty,” indicating that he followed her every day. Less than a week later, Gurung was observed waiting across the street from the school as the victim began walking home. He was arrested shortly thereafter.
Gurung is scheduled to be sentenced by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Vincent Falcetano on Friday, February 25, 2022.
Convictions on fourth-degree crimes are punishable by terms ranging from probation to 18 months in state prison. The case was handled by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Cummings of the Special Victims Bureau. Gurung was represented by Darren Gelber, Esq., with an office in Woodbridge.
The Police Chaplain of the Year: Pastor John R. Taylor of Friendship Baptist Church in Trenton, who is Chief Chaplain of the New Jersey State Police.
The Outstanding Youth Engagement Award: Patrolwoman Charleigh Logothetis of the Hazlet Township Police Department.
December 17, 2021
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)—Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck today announced the winners of this year’s Excellence in Policing Awards during a virtual ceremony that highlighted the tremendous service displayed by New Jersey’s law enforcement agencies, officers, and professionals.
Now in their second year, the annual Excellence in Policing Awards reflect the comprehensive package of policy initiatives advanced by the Attorney General’s Office, designed to encourage and reinforce the Garden State’s commitment to building a national model for strengthening trust between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve.
“Today we honor these officers, professionals, and departments, who, through their exemplary service and innovation, have stood out as representing the best of New Jersey’s law enforcement,” said Acting Attorney General Bruck. “I’m honored to present these awards to dedicated public servants who are committed to keeping our residents safe, promoting resiliency among our officer ranks, and building greater trust between law enforcement and the public.”
The following Excellence in Policing Awards were awarded today:
The Detective Joseph Seals Valor Award honors a police officer or officers who demonstrated an act of extraordinary bravery or heroism in the line of duty. The award honors Detective Joseph Seals, a 13-year veteran of the Jersey City Police Department, who lost his life in the line of duty in December 2019. Detective Seals’ actions in December 2019 likely saved the lives of many others. Detective Seals was not a stranger to heroism; in 2008, he broke through a window and stopped the rape of a 41-year-old woman on Christmas Eve. This year the Detective Joseph Seals Valor Award is presented to the Borough of Carteret Police Department. On July 23, 2021, nine officers— Lt. John Kelly, Detective Louis Maldonado, Detective Raul Martinez, Detective Anthony Ramos, Detective Eric Guzman, Detective Justin Craig, Officer Michael Kelly, Officer Javier Borrero, and Officer Derrick Clavijo—responded to a fire at Bristol Station Apartments, and directed and safely evacuated all occupants out of fire-engulfed Building #4, and then helped evacuate occupants out of nearby Building #6. The officers then remained at the scene to assist the Fire Department.
The Detective Pablo Santiago Resiliency Award honors a law enforcement officer who developed an innovative program or initiative to improve officer safety and wellness. It is named for Mercer County Sheriff’s Office Detective Pablo Santiago, who lost his life to suicide in December 2018. Detective Santiago’s untimely death was the inspiration for the Attorney General’s Statewide Law Enforcement Resiliency Program. The Detective Pablo Santiago Resiliency Award is presented to Lt. William Walsh of the Voorhees Township Police Department and the Multi-Agency Police Peer Support (MAPPS) team. Lt. Walsh spearheaded the program in 2020 in collaboration with the Voorhees, Cherry Hill, and Gloucester Township police departments to bridge the needs of officers recovering from work-related traumatic events, and to create an environment accepting of those seeking assistance. Officers or civilian staff from the three departments may reach out to peer officers for support.
The Attorney General’s Community Outreach Award honors a county prosecutor’s office or police department that exhibited outstanding community outreach efforts. This year the Attorney General’s Community Outreach Award is presented to the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office. In September 2020, BCPO partnered with Bergen County law enforcement and the Bergen County Sherriff’s Office to create the Community Engagement Task Force (CETF) to address residents’ needs and build stronger relationships between law and enforcement and the community. For example, during the pandemic, CETF partnered with local groups to deliver food to vulnerable residents over a seven-month period, and helped local seniors to avoid scams.
The Outstanding Community Partnership Awardhonors a county prosecutor’s office or police department that has implemented or strengthened a community partnership or collaboration with community stakeholders to advance public safety. This year, the Outstanding Community Partnership Award is presented to the West Orange Police Department, who partnered with the Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris to create a co-responder model where trained clinicians respond with police on mental health crisis calls. This community-related response facilitates treatment for those who need it, while reducing involvement in the criminal justice system.
The Police Chaplain of the Yearhonors an exceptional chaplain who goes above and beyond the normal duties of a police chaplain to serve the needs of the department and community. This year the Police Chaplain of the Year is Pastor John R. Taylor of Friendship Baptist Church in Trenton, who is Chief Chaplain of the New Jersey State Police. Pastor Taylor is responsible for overseeing 20 police chaplains of various denominations, is an integral contributor to the statewide dialogue on police-community relations, is a long-time law enforcement trainer, and has been instrumental in advancing community policing in tandem with NJSP and other law enforcement agencies throughout the State.
The Outstanding Youth Engagement Awardhonors a law enforcement officer who designed and implemented an innovative program or initiative to promote stronger police-youth engagement. The Outstanding Youth Engagement Award is presented to Patrolwoman Charleigh Logothetis of the Hazlet Township Police Department. In October 2021, Officer Logothetis pioneered the HTPD’s Inaugural Special Needs Open House, an impactful program designed to build a positive foundation with the community, especially concentrating on youth with special needs, while collaborating with local and statewide programs and organizations.
TRENTON, N.J. – A Monroe County, Pennsylvania man was sentenced today to 200 months in prison for his role in distributing large quantities of heroin and cocaine in the Bayshore area of Monmouth and Middlesex counties, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced today.
Guy Jackson, 49, of Effort, Pennsylvania, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti in Trenton federal court to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin. Jackson also admitted to conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine. Judge Martinotti imposed the sentence today via videoconference.
Today’s sentence follows a coordinated takedown in November 2018 of 15 defendants charged in a federal criminal complaint with conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine. To date, 13 defendants have pleaded guilty. Supplier Gregory Gillens was sentenced on Sept. 8, 2020, to 10 years in prison. Co-defendant Daniel McHugh was sentenced to 90 months in prison; co-defendant David Nagy was sentenced to one year and one day in prison; co-defendant Shavar Williams was sentenced to time served, which amounted to approximately 14 months in prison; co-defendant Daryl Jackson was sentenced to five years’ probation with 10 months of home detention; and co-defendant Brian Hall was sentenced to three years’ probation with eight months of home detention. Co-defendants Krystal Cordoba, Daniel Alfano, Tyler Scarangello, Christy Dube, Richard Gethers, and Lashawn Mealing are awaiting sentencing. Defendant Deberal Rogers has been indicted, and charges were dismissed against one defendant.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From May 2017 to November 2018, Jackson and others engaged in a narcotics conspiracy that operated in the Raritan Bayshore region of Middlesex and northern Monmouth counties. Through the interception of telephone calls and text messages pursuant to court-authorized wiretap orders, controlled purchases of heroin and cocaine, the use of confidential sources of information, and other investigative techniques, law enforcement learned that Jackson regularly supplied large quantities of heroin and cocaine for further distribution. Some of the heroin distributed by the conspiracy contained fentanyl, a dangerous synthetic opioid.
In addition to the prison terms, Judge Martinotti sentenced Jackson to five years of supervised release. Four vehicles that Jackson used in the course of the drug conspiracy, as well as in excess of $10,000 in cash that Jackson admitted was proceeds of drug trafficking, were previously seized and administratively forfeited.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI, Newark Division, Red Bank Resident Agency, Jersey Shore Gang and Criminal Organization Task Force (including representatives from the Bradley Beach Police Department, Brick Police Department, Howell Police Department, Marlboro Police Department, Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, Toms River Police Department, and Union Beach Police Department) under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch, Jr.; special agents of the FBI, Philadelphia Division, Scranton Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jacqueline Maguire; the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan; the Matawan Police Department, under the direction of Chief Thomas J. Falco, Jr.; the Holmdel Police Department, under the direction of Chief John Mioduszewski; the Highlands Police Department, under the direction of Chief Robert Burton; the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey; the Old Bridge Police Department, under the direction of Chief William A. Volkert; the Keansburg Police Department, under the direction of Chief Wayne Davis; the Hazlet Police Department, under the direction of Chief Ted A. Wittke; and the Aberdeen Police Department, under the direction of Chief Alan Geyer, with the investigation leading to this week’s sentencings.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elisa T. Wiygul of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Trenton.
The charges and allegations against the remaining defendant are merely accusations, and she is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Defense counsel: Lorraine Gauli-Rufo Esq., Verona, New Jersey
FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A Monmouth County grand jury this week returned indictments against two defendants charged with crimes involving distribution and/or possession of child sexual abuse materials, bringing the total number of indictments of this kind over approximately the last month to eight, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced Thursday.
Two of the eight defendants have been charged with first-degree crimes, the most serious applicable offenses under state law.
Indicted on Tuesday were:
Jonathan W. Cruz, 38, of Aberdeen, arrested January 2020 and indicted on charges of first-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child via Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Materials using a File-Sharing Program Available to Others and first-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child via Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Materials; and
Neil Ridgway, 58, of Howell, arrested April 2019 and indicted on charges of third-degree Endangering via Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Materials.
Indicted earlier this fall were:
Michael Pipitone, 39, of Middletown, arrested in September 2020 and indicted on charges of first-degree Endangering via Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Materials using a File-Sharing Program Available to Others and second-degree Endangering via Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Materials;
Charles Hoagland, 57, of Hazlet, arrested in November 2020 and indicted on three counts of second-degree Endangering via Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Materials and one count of second-degree Endangering via Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Materials;
David Eidman, 53, of Long Branch, arrested in November 2020 and indicted on two counts of second-degree Endangering via Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Materials and single counts of third-degree Endangering via Possession and third-degree Attempted Endangering;
Carl Aliwalas, 29, of Neptune Township, arrested in May 2021 and indicted for second-degree Endangering via Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Materials and second-degree Endangering via Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Materials; and
John Coluzzi, 33, of Manalapan, arrested in May 2021; and Marvin Diaz, 35, of Howell, arrested in November 2019; both were indicted for second-degree Endangering via Distribution and third-degree Endangering via Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Materials.
Additionally, earlier this fall, 40-year-old Kenneth Megill of Wall Township, arrested in January 2020, was indicted on charges of third-degree Attempted Endangering the Welfare of a Child and third-degree Attempted Obscenity to a Minor for allegedly engaging in inappropriate conversations with and attempting to show inappropriate materials to a juvenile.
Investigations into the actions of these defendants were conducted by members of the Prosecutor’s Office’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, working in tandem with representatives of local police departments in the jurisdictions in which the crimes took place. The cases are assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Stephanie Dugan.
The Monmouth County ICAC Task Force includes members of the following police departments: Bradley Beach, Eatontown, Howell, Long Branch, Manalapan, Marlboro, Middletown, Neptune Township, Spring Lake, Spring Lake Heights, Tinton Falls, Keyport, Keansburg, Belmar, Holmdel, and Red Bank; the Task Force also receives investigative support from the New Jersey State Police (High Tech Crime Bureau).
Convictions on first-degree criminal charges are commonly punishable by terms of 10 to 20 years in state prison. Second-degree convictions can result in terms of 5 to 10 years; third-degree convictions can result in terms of 3 to 5 years.
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.
KEYPORT – HAZLET, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Hazlet Police Chief Ted Wittke announced that the subject we have been looking for all day (July 6, 2021) was just taken into custody by Hazlet Police. Numerous officers from multiple jurisdictions including Keyport, Union Beach, Middletown, Matawan, Monmouth County Sheriffs Office and the New Jersey State Police spent the last 7 hours conducting an exhaustive search in the area between Shorelands Cemetery and Airport Plaza. Officers on foot were supplemented by (3) Police K9s, drones, and helicopter.
At 7:21 p.m. we received a call that a subject matching that description was seen behind St. John’s Church. As officers flooded the scene Deputy Chief Robert Mulligan spotted him and took him into custody with the assistance of Sgt. Robert Dickens and Ptl. Megan Quinn.
We are thankful for all of the support we received from our Bayshore, County and State partners today. We are also thankful that we were able to take this potentially dangerous person off the street.
Keyport Police reported the incident earlier yesterday that they looking for a white male wearing a red hat in his 51years old gray /white hair armed with a knife wanted for questioning for aggravated assault at the Stop n Shop.
Restaurant to Bring Approximately 100 Full- and Part-Time Jobs to Community
March 23, 2021
HAZLET, NJ (MONM0OUTH)–Chick-fil-A Hazlet, located in Monmouth County, on the boarder of Hazlet and Holmdel, is slated to open for business on Thursday, April 1. Chick-fil-A®, Inc. has selected Brandon Jones as the independent franchised Owner/Operator of this new Chick-fil-A restaurant in Hazlet. Jones will be responsible for all day-to-day activities of the business, including employing approximately 100 full- and part-time Team Members, cultivating relationships with local organizations and neighboring businesses, and serving Guests. Chick-fil-A Hazlet is located at 2819 State Route 35 and will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
At Chick-fil-A, safe service is our first priority. New Chick-fil-A restaurants will take additional time to review operations and make sure appropriate precautions are in place before opening their dining rooms, to ensure the safety of Guests and Team Members. Currently, Chick-fil-A Hazlet will open via drive-thru only. Guests can take advantage of contactless ordering and payment through the Chick-fil-A mobile app. To learn more about Chick-fil-A’s response to the coronavirus, please visit our safe service page.
In place of the traditional Chick-fil-A First 100® Grand Opening celebration, Chick-fil-A Hazlet will be surprising 100 local heroes making an impact in Monmouth County with free Chick-fil-A for a year. Additionally, in honor of the new restaurant opening, Chick-fil-A will donate $25,000 to Feeding America. The funds will be distributed to partners within the greater Hazlet area to aid in the fight against hunger.
Locally Owned and Operated
Born and raised in Monmouth County, Brandon Jones has been determined to bring a Chick-fil-A restaurant to his community. So much so, that he began the process of becoming an Operator more than 10 years ago, holding off on moving into this role until there was an opportunity in Monmouth County. Prior to joining Chick-fil-A, Jones held a number of sales and marketing positions at industry-leading organizations, such as ZOLL Medical Corporation and Hologic Inc.
“Becoming an Operator in Monmouth County is a dream that has been a decade in the making and I couldn’t be more thrilled to finally see it come to life,” said Jones. “I look forward to making this restaurant a cornerstone of the community, creating a place that delivers great food with excellent service and provides personal and professional growth opportunities for Team Members.”
Team Member Investment
Chick-fil-A franchised Operators are committed to hiring, developing and retaining top talent, and providing a great work environment for people of all ages and backgrounds. They also offer their Team Members opportunities for flexible work hours and leadership growth, competitive pay and benefits, hands-on training and mentoring, and the chance to apply for scholarships to support their continuing education. As with all Chick-fil-A restaurants, Team Members are guaranteed Sundays off.
Quality Ingredients; Delicious Food
Chick-fil-A focuses on serving customers great-tasting food made with high quality ingredients. The produce we use in our recipes – from whole lemons and chopped apples, to fresh romaine lettuce and tomatoes – is delivered to our restaurants up to six times a week. Chick-fil-A Lemonade is made from three simple ingredients: lemon juice, sugar and water. All U.S. Chick-fil-A restaurants now serve chicken raised with No Antibiotics Ever, starting from the egg. By not allowing antibiotics of any kind, Chick-fil-A chicken meets the highest commitment for non-antibiotic use. For more information about the Chick-fil-A No Antibiotics Ever commitment, visit www.chick-fil-a.com/no-antibiotics-ever.
Commitment to Customer Service
With a longstanding tradition in the restaurant industry for setting high standards in customer service, Chick-fil-A earned recognition for providing the “best fast food customer service in America” according to America’s Best Customer Service 2020 report by Newsweek, among other honors.
For more information about Chick-fil-A and stories about the Brand’s food, people and customers across the country, visit chick-fil-a.com. For the latest news and updates on Chick-fil-A Hazlet, visit the Chick-fil-A Hazlet Facebook page.
Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A, Inc. is a family owned and privately held restaurant company founded in 1967 by S. Truett Cathy. Devoted to serving the local communities in which its franchised restaurants operate, and known for its Original Chick-fil-A® Chicken Sandwich, Chick-fil-A serves freshly prepared food in more than 2,600 restaurants in 47 states, Washington, D.C., and Canada.
A leader in customer service satisfaction, Chick-fil-A was named top fast food restaurant in Newsweek’s 2019 America’s Best Customer Service report and received several honors in QSR’s 2019 Reader’s Choice Awards, including “The Most Respected Quick-Service Brand” and “Best Brand for Overall Experience”. Additionally, Glassdoor named Chick-fil-A one of the top 100 best places to work in 2020. More information on Chick-fil-A is available at www.chick-fil-a.com.
FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–As you may be aware, this year’s November General Election in New Jersey is being conducted primarily by mail-in ballots, per State mandate. On November 3, 2020, Election Day, limited polling locations will be open for voting on paper provisional ballots only, except for disabled voters.
Voters across Monmouth County are receiving their mail-in ballots this week and are encouraged to contact the County Clerk’s Election Office at 732-431-7790, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with any questions about the delivery of their ballots.
Due to this unprecedented change in our election process, Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon has provided a comprehensive webpage on MonmouthCountyVotes.com, explaining this year’s election process.
In addition, our office has provided video tutorials, including an animated step-by-step video informing Monmouth County voters of how to properly complete and return their mail-in ballots. The tutorial also explains how the paper ballots are reviewed and verified by the Monmouth County Board of Elections.
The video can be viewed on our Facebook and YouTube pages. We encourage you to share this important information with your friends and neighbors.
Election Hotline Established to Secure Election Integrity
To help ensure free and fair elections in Monmouth County, the County Election Offices and Prosecutor’s Office have established an election hotline. To report any issues of voter fraud or misconduct in Monmouth County, residents can call the County Prosecutor’s Office hotline at 855-786-5878.
“Our democratic system of government depends on free and fair elections and, as such, election integrity and security is important to all of us,” said County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni and County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon. “For these reasons, our offices are working together to further safeguard the electoral process.”
Upcoming Dates and Voter Deadlines
Monday, October 12th: All County Offices closed in observance of Columbus Day
Tuesday, November 3rd at 8 p.m.: Close of the polls; Deadline to deliver mail-in ballot by U.S. Postal Service mail, Drop Box, or in-person to the County Board of Elections at 300 Halls Mill Road in Freehold or at assigned Polling Place.
ALLENTOWN, NJ (MONMOUTH)–An Allentown resident told MidJersey.News that around 11 pm last night a delivery crew installed a Vote-By-Mail Drop Box in front of Allentown at Borough Hall on Main Street. There are currently 17 Vote-By-Mail Drop Box locations for Monmouth County, this is the furthest west serving Western Monmouth County.
Pursuant to State law, the November 3, 2020 General Election will be conducted primarily by Mail-In Ballot in New Jersey.
If you wish to place your Mail-In Ballot in a secure drop box, below are the locations throughout the County which will be available starting the week of September 15. Addresses in the list below are clickable and will bring up Google Maps.
Voters can drop their voted Mail-In Ballot into these Board of Elections Drop Boxes anywhere in the County up until 8 p.m. on November 3, 2020. You do not have to be a resident of the town where the drop box is located. Be advised that these drop boxes are under video surveillance and are monitored by the Monmouth County Board of Elections, which can be reached at 732-431-7802.
For more information about the General Election process, click here.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A Middlesex County, New Jersey, man today admitted that he conspired to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin as part of a conspiracy responsible for distributing significant quantities of heroin and cocaine in the Bayshore area of Monmouth and Middlesex counties, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Daniel McHugh, 50, of Sayreville, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti via videoconference to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin. McHugh also admitted to conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine and possessing with intent to distribute a quantity of crack cocaine.
Today’s guilty plea follows a coordinated takedown in November 2018 of 15 defendants charged by complaint with conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine. To date, 13 defendants have pleaded guilty, including supplier Gregory Gillens and lead defendant Guy Jackson. Gillens was sentenced on Sept. 8, 2020, to 10 years in prison. Jackson is awaiting sentencing.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From May 2017 to November 2018, McHugh and others engaged in a narcotics conspiracy that operated in the Raritan Bayshore region of Middlesex and northern Monmouth counties. Through the interception of telephone calls and text messages pursuant to court-authorized wiretap orders, controlled purchases of heroin and cocaine, the use of confidential sources of information, and other investigative techniques, law enforcement learned that McHugh regularly obtained heroin and cocaine for further distribution from Jackson. Some of the heroin distributed by the conspiracy contained fentanyl, a dangerous synthetic opioid.
On the date of his arrest, McHugh gave consent to search his residence. During that search, law enforcement recovered quantities of heroin, cocaine, and crack cocaine intended for further distribution.
The heroin conspiracy count to which McHugh pleaded guilty carries a statutory mandatory minimum term of five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years in prison, and a fine of up to $5 million. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 20, 2021.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited Special Agents of the FBI, Newark Division, Red Bank Resident Agency, Jersey Shore Gang and Criminal Organization Task Force (including representatives from the Bradley Beach Police Department, Brick Police Department, Howell Police Department, Marlboro Police Department, Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, Toms River Police Department, and Union Beach Police Department) under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr.; Special Agents of the FBI, Philadelphia Division, Scranton Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Driscoll; the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent; the Matawan Police Department, under the direction of Chief Thomas J. Falco, Jr.; the Holmdel Police Department, under the direction of Chief John Mioduszewski; the Highlands Police Department, under the direction of Chief Robert Burton; the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni; the Old Bridge Police Department, under the direction of Chief William A. Volkert; the Keansburg Police Department, under the direction of Chief James K. Pigott; the Hazlet Police Department, under the direction of Chief Philip Meehan; and the Aberdeen Police Department, under the direction of Chief Richard A. Derechailo, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elisa T. Wiygul of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Trenton.
The charges and allegations against the two remaining defendants are merely accusations and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Defense counsel: James R. Murphy Esq., Princeton, New Jersey
Driver was Using Cellular Phone When Fatal Crash Occurred
August 21, 2020
FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A Monmouth County judge sentenced a 51-year-old Keansburg woman to 5 years in prison in connection with the 2016 collision which took the life of 39-year-old Yuwen Wang on Laurel Avenue in Hazlet Township, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
Alexandra Mansonet, 51, of Keansburg, was sentenced to 5 years in a New Jersey state prison by the Honorable Judge David F. Bauman on Friday, August 21, 2020. Mansonet’ s sentence is also subject to the provisions of the No Early Release Act (NERA) requiring her to serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for release on parole. She will also be on parole for a period of three years once released. The trial jury returned a guilty verdict for second degree Vehicular Homicide following a three-week trial on November 22, 2019.
Evidence presented at the trial revealed that Mansonet was texting while driving at the time of the fatal crash.
The charges stem from a collision which occurred at approximately 8:20 a.m. on Sept. 28, 2016 at the intersection of Laurel Avenue and Sixth Street in Hazlet. The initial collision involved a 2000 Mercedes Benz, operated by Mansonet and a 2011 Toyota Corolla, operated by Robert Matich of Keansburg. Matich’s son was a passenger in the vehicle. Matich’s vehicle was proceeding south on Laurel Avenue approaching the intersection with Sixth Street when he observed pedestrians looking to cross Laurel Avenue at the marked crosswalk. In compliance with motor vehicle law that requires a driver to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, Matich slowed his vehicle a significant distance prior to the intersection to allow the pedestrians to cross. As Matich brought his vehicle to a controlled stop, Mansonet’s vehicle collided with the rear of his vehicle, which was propelled forward, striking the victim.
Wang was transported by helicopter to Robert Wood Johnson University Medical Center’s Trauma Unit in New Brunswick, where she died on Oct. 3, 2016.
An investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Monmouth County Serious Collision Analysis Response Team (SCART) and Hazlet Township Police Department determined Mansonet was using her cellular telephone while driving and made no observations of Matich’s vehicle. Accordingly, Mansonet never activated her brakes and collided with the vehicle, causing it to cast forward and strike the victim.
After Mansonet was sentenced, Raymond M. Brown, Esq., one of the attorneys handling her appeal, asked the Court to grant Mansonet’s release on bail while her appeal is pending, which was opposed by the State. Judge Bauman denied the motion. Mr. Brown then asked Judge Bauman to stay his order pending an emergent appeal of the denial of bail pending appeal. The stay was granted, allowing Mansonet to file and emergent appeal to the Appellate Division on the issue.
Accordingly, Judge Bauman released Mansonet, but ordered that she turn herself in on Tuesday, August 25, 2020 by 3:00 p.m. to begin serving her sentence unless the Appellate Division reverses his ruling and grants bail pending appeal.
The case was prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Christopher J. Decker, Director of the Office’s Major Crimes Bureau.
Mansonet was represented at trial and sentencing by Steven D. Altman, Esq. and Philip Nettl, Esq. of Benedict and Altman, New Brunswick. She is now represented by Raymond M. Brown, Esq. and Rachel E. Simon, Esq. of Scarinci Hollenbeck, Lyndhurst.
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