A young Long Branch man has been arrested and charged in connection with Sunday’s shooting death in city and could face life in prison, if convicted, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced on Friday.
Jeffrey S. Williams, 20, was arrested on Thursday evening and formally charged with the first-degree murder and first-degree felony murder of Hector C. Mejia, also of Long Branch. Williams was also charged with first-degree robbery, second-degree possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.
He was scheduled to make his initial appearance today at 1:30 p.m. before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Richard W. English at the Monmouth County Courthouse in Freehold.
If convicted of murder or felony murder, Williams faces a minimum sentence of 30 years in a New Jersey state prison without parole and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, subject to the provisions of the “No Early Release Act” (NERA) requiring him to serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for release on parole. He would also be under parole supervision for five years following his release from state prison.
If convicted of robbery, Williams faces up to 20 years in state prison.
If convicted of the second-degree weapons offenses, Williams faces a sentence of up to 10 years in state prison on each count.
The case background …
The Long Branch Police Department received a 911 call from a resident of 111-2 Liberty Street, in the city, at 11:41 p.m. on July 16.
The caller reported to police that she had found her husband, Hector C. Mejia, lying on the ground bleeding in front of her home at that address. Police and medical personnel responded to that location and found the victim, with a gunshot wound, near the front door of the aforementioned address. Shortly thereafter, the victim was pronounced dead at 11:56 p.m.
Long Branch Police contacted the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and a joint investigation was launched into Mejia’s murder. Over the course of the next four days, detectives from both agencies worked to identify the person responsible. Both the Keansburg and Lakewood police departments also assisted in this investigation.
Anyone with additional information regarding the murder is asked to contact Detective Adam Hess of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 800-533-7443 or Detective Todd Coleman of the Long Branch Police Department at 732-222-1000.
The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Christopher J. Decker, Director of the Office’s Major Crimes Bureau.
Williams is represented by Gregory Sharkey, Esq., of Lakewood.