A New Jersey man has pleaded guilty to felony murder in connection with the 2011 death of his neighbor. The 40-year-old man is accused of killing his 77-year-old Mount Arlington neighbor in February of that year.
Authorities report that they found the body of the elderly female resident in her home at about 1 p.m. on Feb. 6, 2011. The woman was a widow who lived by herself, according to official reports. Crime scene information shows that the woman had sustained trauma about her head and face. The woman's ankles were also bound by duct tape, and her residence had been upended. Medical examiners revealed that the woman's cause of death was blunt force trauma due to a homicide. The woman's death occurred about 12 to 24 hours before she was found.
Crime scene data linked the defendant to the crime scene through DNA evidence found beneath the duct tape. Authorities also located some items from the victim's home in the defendant's residence, further raising suspicion.
The defendant in this case pleaded guilty to first-degree felony murder, along with second-degree burglary and fourth-degree obstruction of governmental function in connection with the incident. Judges in the case will receive a recommendation for a 40-year sentence thanks to the man's decision to plead guilty; provisions of the No Early Release Act will be applied to this case. That means he would be ineligible for parole until he had served 34 years. He will also be subjected to five years' supervisory probation after he serves his prison time.
In this case, the man's decision to plead guilty could have saved him from a more serious fate. It is not clear whether prosecutors would have pursued the death penalty, but a trial could have landed the man in jail for much longer than the recommended 40-year sentence.
The man's decision to work with a qualified criminal defense attorney likely led to this beneficial decision. If you are facing criminal charges, be sure to enlist the services of a professional lawyer. These representatives can protect your rights throughout the entire courtroom process.
Source: newjerseyhills.com, "Mount Arlington man pleads guilty to felony murder of neighbor" No author given, May. 29, 2013