Category: Little Egg Harbor

Little Egg Harbor Man Pleads Guilty To Aggravated Manslaughter

October 1, 2021

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on September 30, 2021, Kendrick Coley, 29, of Little Egg Harbor, pled guilty to Aggravated Manslaughter in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4a(1), before the Honorable Guy P. Ryan, J.S.C., relative to the stabbing death of Richard Pone during the evening hours of May 16, 2018 in Little Egg Harbor.  At the time of his sentencing on December 3, 2021, the State will recommend a term of 20 years New Jersey State Prison, subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2

On May 16, 2018, at approximately 8:15 p.m., Officers from the Little Egg Harbor Police Department responded to a 911 call in reference to a stabbing incident that had taken place at a residence on Maplewood Drive.  Upon their arrival, Officers located Mr. Pone in an upstairs bedroom with multiple stab wounds; he was pronounced deceased at the scene at approximately 8:40 p.m.  A subsequent investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit and Little Egg Harbor Police Department Detective Bureau determined that Coley had stabbed the victim multiple times after the two had engaged in a physical altercation at the residence.  Coley was apprehended at the scene and taken into custody without incident.  He has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since the date of his arrest on May 16, 2018.

Prosecutor Billhimer commends the diligent efforts of Chief Trial Attorney Michael Weatherstone and Assistant Prosecutor Kimberly Carr who handled the case on behalf of the State, as well as the Ocean County Prosecutor’s  Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Little Egg Harbor Police Department Detective Bureau, Little Egg Harbor Police Department, Tuckerton Borough Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, for their collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation, resulting in Coley’s apprehension, guilty plea, and soon his state prison sentence.


Tuckerton Man Indicted For Attempted Murder

August 19, 2021

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on August 19, 2021, Donald Rutter, 52, of Tuckerton, was indicted by a Grand Jury sitting in Ocean County on charges of Attempted Murder in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-1a(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(1), Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4a(1), and Unlawful Possession of a Weapon in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5c(2), in connection with a shooting incident involving bodily injury which occurred during the evening hours of January 5, 2021 in Little Egg Harbor Township.

On January 5, 2021, at approximately 7:30 p.m., Little Egg Harbor Township Police were dispatched to Jarvis Marine on Radio Road in response to a 911 call which related that an individual had been shot. Responding Officers found Thomas Jarvis, 55, of Little Egg Harbor, with an apparent gunshot wound to his midsection. Mr. Jarvis was transported to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center. Mr. Jarvis was treated for his injuries and eventually released from the hospital.

An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit revealed that Rutter was, in fact, the individual who shot Mr. Jarvis. An exhaustive search of the surrounding area by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Regional SWAT Team, New Jersey State Police, New Jersey State Park Police, United States Marshals Service, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, and Tuckerton Police Department, was unsuccessful in locating Rutter in the aftermath of the shooting. As such, a warrant was issued for Rutter’s arrest.

On January 28, 2021, Rutter was ultimately located in Atlantic City and taken into custody, without incident, by the United States Marshals Service. He has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since his apprehension.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Assistant Prosecutor Kaitlyn Burke who is handling the case on behalf of the State, as well as the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Regional SWAT Team, New Jersey State Police, New Jersey State Park Police, United States Marshals Service, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, and Tuckerton Police Department, for their combined and collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation resulting in Rutter’s apprehension and today’s indictment.

The charges referenced above are merely accusations and the press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. R.P.C. 3.6(b)(6).


Manahawkin Man Indicted For Aggravated Manslaughter And Vehicular Homicide

June 24, 2021

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on June 24, 2021, Michael Pillarella, 27, of Manahawkin, was indicted by a Grand Jury sitting in Ocean County on the charge of Aggravated Manslaughter in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4a(1), in connection with a motor vehicle crash that occurred in Little Egg Harbor Township during the evening hours of January 30, 2021 – resulting in the death of a female juvenile victim.  Pillarella was also indicted on charges of Vehicular Homicide in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5a; Strict Liability Vehicular Homicide in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5.3; Aggravated Assault in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(1); and Assault by Auto in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1c(2).

On January 30, 2021, at approximately 9:45 p.m., officers from the Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department responded to the area of Radio Road and Baltusrol Court for a report of a two-vehicle crash with serious injuries.  An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit and Little Egg Harbor Police Department revealed that a 2017 Hyundai Elantra, operated by Pillarella, was traveling northbound on Radio Road when he failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway, crossed over the centerline, and struck an oncoming 2006 Toyota XB travelling southbound on Radio Road.  The Toyota XB was operated by a juvenile, and there was also a juvenile passenger in the vehicle.  As a result of the crash, both juveniles sustained serious injuries and were subsequently airlifted to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune.

Pillarella was airlifted to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center Trauma Center in Atlantic City for treatment of his injuries from the crash.  A warrant was obtained for a draw of Pillarella’s blood.  Pillarella was treated and released from the hospital, and was initially issued several motor vehicle summonses.  

Further investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit and Little Egg Harbor Police Department resulted in the filing of additional charges against Pillarella on February 1, 2021 for Aggravated Assault in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(1) and Assault by Auto in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1c(2) — two counts as to each offense relating to both juvenile victims.  Pillarella was taken into custody without incident on that date by officers from the Little Egg Harbor Police Department, and he has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since his arrest. On February 9, 2021, the female juvenile passenger in the Toyota XB succumbed to the injuries she sustained as a result of the January 30, 2021 crash.  She was pronounced deceased at Jersey Shore University Medical Center.  As a consequence, the charges against Pillarella were upgraded to include Aggravated Manslaughter in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4a(1) and Vehicular Homicide in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5a relative to the female juvenile passenger.  The charges of Aggravated Assault and Assault by Auto are in connection with the female juvenile driver – who continues to recover from her serious injuries – remained in force and effect.

On February 15, 2020, Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office received the laboratory results relative to Pillarella’s blood draw; those results revealed that Pillarella was under the influence of Alprazolam, Methadone, and Fentanyl at the time of the crash, and that he was unfit to safely operate a motor vehicle on the roadways of the State of New Jersey.  Additionally, further investigation revealed that Pillarella was operating his motor vehicle at an excessive rate of speed – approximately 74 miles per hour at the time of the crash – for which he was charged with Speeding in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-98.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Robert Cassidy and Assistant Prosecutor Alyssa Mandara who are handling the case on behalf of the State, as well as  the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit, Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department, New Jersey State Police, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, for their collaborative assistance in connection with this investigation resulting in today’s indictment.

The charges referenced above are merely accusations and the press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

R.P.C. 3.6(b)(6).


2.4 Earthquake Hits Tuckerton, New Jersey

June 9, 2021

TUCKERTON, NJ (OCEAN)–The US Geological Service is reporting a 2.4 magnitude earthquake in the area of Tuckerton Cove this morning near the following coordinates +/- 2km:

39.574°N  74.336°W

39.574000, -74.336000

The coordinates land under Tuckerton Cove, between “Thorofare Point” off Great Bay Boulevard in Little Egg Harbor Township and “Gaunt Point” near South Green Street in Tuckerton Borough.

The Ocean County Sherriff’s Office reports, “We received a report of a house shaking earlier in Little Egg Harbor. We are not confirming this to be an earthquake, only sharing information.”



Magnitude
uncertainty

2.4 mb_lg± 0.1

Location
uncertainty

39.574°N  74.336°W± 2.0 km

Depth
uncertainty

5.0 km± 1.9

Origin Time

2021-06-09 11:52:35.705 UTC

Number of Stations

Number of Phases

15

Minimum Distance

40.6 km ( 0.37° )

Travel Time Residual

0.71 s

Azimuthal Gap

187°

FE Region

New Jersey (494)

Review Status

REVIEWED

Catalog

US ( us7000ebfb )

Location Source

US 1

Magnitude Source

US 1

Contributor

US 1


Governor Murphy Signs Legislation to Provide $10 Million to Support Food Banks in New Jersey

April 21, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Today, Governor Phil Murphy signed A5405, which will direct $10 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund established under the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture. This funding will be distributed to seven New Jersey food banks in order to continue providing families with food assistance during the pandemic.   

“Our food banks have been a critical resource for thousands of families impacted by the pandemic,” said Governor Murphy. “Today’s necessary funding will help organizations to continue supporting New Jerseyans to put food on the table for their families. I want to thank our Congressional Delegation for their commitment to secure this funding.”  

The funding will be distributed to the following organizations:  

  • Community Food Bank of New Jersey, $5,200,000;  
  • The Food Bank of South Jersey, $1,500,000;  
  • Fulfill Monmouth & Ocean, $1,500,000;  
  • Mercer Street Friends Food Bank, $1,100,000;  
  • Norwescap, $300,000;  
  • Southern Regional Food Distribution Center, $300,000; and  
  • Farmers Against Hunger, $100,000. 

“Food banks carry out a crucial and valuable role in serving the food insecure for all communities throughout New Jersey,” NJDA Secretary Douglas Fisher said. “This funding will help ensure access to meals and the necessary assistance for those who may find themselves in need of a helping hand during a time of stress.”  

“Food insecurity is a quiet crisis that has been made worse by the pandemic,” said Senate President Steve Sweeney. “The economic fallout has made it tragically hard for a growing number of families to put food on their tables. No one in America should be allowed to go hungry and no family should be forced to live with the fear of not knowing where the next meal is coming from. These food banks are a lifeline for those in need during a time of difficult challenges.”   

“Over 1.2 million people in this state now suffer from food insecurity, a staggering number that has increased substantially because of COVID-19,” said Senator Steven Oroho. “By lending a helping hand to large food banks, this law will help address the hunger crisis in New Jersey head-on.” 

“Far too many families are struggling to put food on the table right now because of the financial impact of COVID-19,” said Speaker Craig Coughlin, Assemblywoman Angela Speight, and Assemblyman John Armato, in a joint statement. “Throughout this crisis, food banks have been providing critical support to community members in need – ensuring no one who seeks their help goes home hungry. Allocating funds to New Jersey’s food banks will help these organizations continue their important mission of helping residents get through challenging times.”


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Little Egg Harbor man killed in Lakewood shooting

February 22, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

LAKEWOOD TOWNSHIP (OCEAN)– Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer and Lakewood Township Police Chief Gregory Meyer announced that on February 21, 2021, at approximately 7:40 p.m., Lakewood Township Police were summoned to the area of Tudor Court in response to a 911 call regarding a male who had collapsed in the middle of the road. Responding Officers found Dajour Randolph, 20, of Little Egg Harbor, with an apparent gunshot wound to the chest. Mr. Randolph was transported to Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus, in Lakewood, where he subsequently succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased.

Prosecutor Billhimer and Chief Meyer wish to emphasize that this is an active and ongoing investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Lakewood Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, and that there is no known danger to the public at this time. 

Anyone in possession of information concerning this investigation is urged to contact Detective Brant Uricks of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office at 732-929-2027, or Detective Eric Cicerello of the Lakewood Township Police Department at 732-363-0200.



Update: Manahawkin Man Man Faces Additional Charges Involving Crash On January 30, 2021

February 1, 2021

Related MidJersey.News story here: 3 Airlifted To Trauma Centers Following Serious Crash, 26 Year Old Charged With Reckless Driving

LITTLE EGG HARBOR, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on February 1, 2021, Michael Pillarella, 26, of Manahawkin, was arrested and charged with two counts of Aggravated Assault in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(1), and two counts of Assault by Auto in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1c(2), relative to a motor vehicle crash that occurred in Little Egg Harbor Township during the evening hours of January 30, 2021.

On January 30, 2021, at approximately 9:45 p.m., officers from the Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department responded to the area of Radio Road and Baltusrol Court for a report of a two-vehicle crash with serious injuries.  An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit and Little Egg Harbor Police Department revealed that a 2017 Hyundai Elantra, operated by Pillarella, was traveling northbound on Radio Road when he failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway, crossed over the centerline, and struck an oncoming 2006 Toyota XB travelling southbound on Radio Road.  The Toyota XB was operated by a juvenile, and there was also a juvenile passenger in the vehicle.  As a result of the crash, both juveniles sustained serious injuries and were subsequently airlifted to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, where they remain listed in critical condition.

Pillarella was airlifted to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center Trauma Center in Atlantic City for treatment of his injuries from the crash.  A search warrant was obtained for a draw of Pillarella’s blood, and laboratory results remain pending.  Pillarella was treated and released from the hospital, and was initially issued motor vehicle summonses for Reckless Driving in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-96, and Failure to Maintain Lane in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-88 on January 31, 2021. 

An ongoing investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit and Little Egg Harbor Police Department has resulted in the filing of additional charges against Pillarella for Aggravated Assault and Assault by Auto – two counts as to each offense relating to both juvenile victims.  Pillarella was taken into custody today without incident by officers from the Little Egg Harbor Police Department.  He was processed at Little Egg Harbor Police Headquarters, and transported to the Ocean County Jail, where he remains lodged pending a detention hearing.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit, Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department, New Jersey State Police, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, for their collaborative assistance in connection with this investigation resulting in Pillarella’s arrest.

The press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

3 Airlifted To Trauma Centers Following Serious Crash, 26 Year Old Charged With Reckless Driving

UPDATE: Update: Manahawkin Man Man Faces Additional Charges Involving Crash On January 30, 2021

January 31, 2021

LITTLE EGG HARBOR, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on January 30, 2021, at approximately 9:45 p.m., officers from the Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department responded to the area of Radio Road and Baltusrol Court for a report of a two-vehicle crash with serious injuries.  An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit and Little Egg Harbor Police Department revealed that a 2017 Hyundai Elantra operated by Michael Pillarella, 26, of Manahawkin, was traveling northbound on Radio Road when he failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway, crossed over the centerline, and struck an oncoming 2006 Toyota XB travelling southbound on Radio Road.  The Toyota XB was operated by a juvenile, and there was also a juvenile passenger in the vehicle.  As a result of the crash, both juveniles sustained serious injuries and were subsequently airlifted to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, where they remain listed in critical condition.

Pillarella was airlifted to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center Trauma Center in Atlantic City for treatment of his injuries from the crash.  A search warrant was obtained for a draw of Pillarella’s blood, and laboratory results remain pending.  Pillarella was treated and released from the hospital, and has been issued motor vehicle summonses for Reckless Driving in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-96, and Failure to Maintain Lane in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-88.  

“This matter remains under investigation, and additional charges may be forthcoming,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit, Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department, New Jersey State Police, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, for their combined assistance in connection with this investigation.

The press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Fugitive From Justice Charged With Attempted Murder Apprehended In Atlantic City

January 28, 2021

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer has announced that Donald Rutter, 61, of Tuckerton, a fugitive from justice who was charged on January 6, 2021 with the Attempted Murder of Thomas Jarvis, 55, of Little Egg Harbor, was apprehended by the United States Marshals Service in Atlantic City on January 28, 2021.

On January 5, 2021, at approximately 7:30 p.m., Little Egg Harbor Township Police were dispatched to Jarvis Marine on Radio Road in response to a 911 call which related that an individual had been shot.  Responding Officers found Thomas Jarvis with an apparent gunshot wound to his midsection.  Mr. Jarvis was transported to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center for treatment of his injuries.  He has since been released from the hospital and is reportedly recovering from his injuries.

An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit revealed that Rutter was, in fact, the individual who shot Mr. Jarvis.  An exhaustive search of the surrounding area by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Regional SWAT Team, New Jersey State Police, New Jersey State Park Police, United States Marshals Service, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, and Tuckerton Police Department, was unsuccessful in locating Rutter in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.  As such, a warrant was issued for Rutter’s arrest charging him with Attempted Murder in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-1a(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(1), as well as Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4a(1).

On January 28, 2021, Rutter was ultimately located in Atlantic City and taken into custody, without incident, by the United States Marshals Service.  He is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

“I am extremely thankful for the outstanding teamwork exhibited by all the law enforcement agencies involved in locating Rutter.  This is a prime example of law enforcement at its best, with our partners at the local, county, state, and federal levels coming together – working tirelessly for more than three weeks – to capture a fugitive from justice. Their collaboration and perseverance certainly paid off today, as Rutter is now lodged in the Ocean County Jail,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated.

Prosecutor Billhimer would like to acknowledge the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Regional SWAT Team, New Jersey State Police, New Jersey State Park Police, United States Marshals Service, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, and Tuckerton Police Department for their collective efforts in connection with this investigation resulting in Rutter’s apprehension.

The press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.