Prosecutor: Man Gets 30 Years for 2017 Murder

A Monmouth County man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for the 2017 shooting death of a Long Branch man, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced.

Jeffrey Williams, 31, of Long Branch, was convicted by a jury on October 4, 2018, of a range of charges including first-degree felony murder, second-degree reckless manslaughter, second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon following a four-week trial. 

The case background …

At trial, testimony revealed that on Sunday night, July 16, 2017, Williams and several others were hanging out near the corner of Central Avenue and Liberty Street in Long Branch when they realized that there was an older Hispanic male asleep on the front porch of 111-2 Liberty Street. 

Knowing this, the defendant and at least two others approached the man. While one of the men was attempting to take property from the victim, the man awoke and reacted to their presence. 

In response, Jeffrey Williams pulled out a handgun and shot the man.  Approximately 20 minutes later, the victim’s estranged wife came home to find her husband dead on the porch and called 911. She told police Hector Mejia had come over in order to drop off money for her and their kids.  

Williams was arrested on July 20, 2017, and charged in connection with the death of the 47-year-old Mejia, the victim, who was found bleeding from a gunshot wound near the front door of his Liberty Street home.

Long Branch Police Department responded to an 11:41 p.m. 911 call on July 16, 2017, reporting the shooting. Police and medical personnel responded to the location and the victim was pronounced dead at 11:56 p.m. A joint investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and Long Branch Police Department led to the arrest of Williams four days later.