Category Archives: Regional Interest

Prosecutor: One Guilty Plea in Sarah Stern Murder

As part of a plea agreement, one of two area teen suspects implicated in the Sarah Stern murder agreed to testify against the co-defendant in exchange for a guilty plea to seven charges, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said in a released statement.

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Prosecutor: Barricaded Area Man Arrested on Warrant for Assault, Weapons Charges

A 38 year-old Tinton Falls man who had an outstanding warrant on the charges of third-degree aggravated assault and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, was arrested Tuesday afternoon after he barricaded himself in a home and hid in the attic, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni announced.

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Prosecutor: Two Indicted in 2015 Eatontown Murder

A Monmouth County grand jury has returned a four-count indictment charging two men with a July 2015 Eatontown murder, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced.

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Prosecutor: Discovery of Dead Bodies in Monmouth Beach Poses ‘No Cause for Alarm’

Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office authorities have alerted people in the Monmouth Beach area that the finding of two dead bodies in the Channel Club Marina poses “no cause for alarm,” a released statement from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office said.

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Prosecutor: Area Man Faces Child Porn Charges

An area man is facing up to 15 years in prison on charges in connection with computer child pornography download and distribution, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced on Tuesday.

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Prosecutor: Operation Justice Served Links 45 Area People to Drug Ring

A five-month undercover investigation involving the collaborative efforts of federal, state, county and local authorities dubbed Operation Justice Served has resulted in a Monmouth County grand jury returning on Thursday a 100-count indictment linking 45 area people to a Freehold-based drug distribution ring involving heroin, cocaine, marijuana and prescription drugs, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni announced.

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Prosecutor: Suspended Cop, Sister Plead Guilty to Health Insurance Fraud

A suspended police officer and his sister pleaded guilty on Tuesday to charges in connection with a health insurance fraud scheme, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced on Tuesday.

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U.S. Attorney: Area Man Pleads Guilty to Child Porn Charge

A Red Bank man who today admitted to downloading sexually explicit videos and images of children to his home computer is facing up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced in a released statement.

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Prosecutor: Man Wounded in Drive-By Shooting; Shooter at Large

A Saturday night Monmouth County shooting, involving two men being shot at with one struck, is currently under investigation by county and local detectives, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced in a released statement. Authorities are asking for help from the public in finding the shooter or shooters.

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Prosecutor: Two Teens Charged in Connection with Sarah Stern Murder

A press release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office …

Two Neptune City teens have been charged in connection with the murder of 19-year-old Sarah Stern, who has been missing since early December, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced.

The arrests end a nearly two-month-long search for the missing teen, last seen alive on Dec. 2.

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Prosecutor: JCP&L Scam Continues; Warning Signs

The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office has issued an alert that police departments are again being inundated with calls as scammers posing as employees of Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) target businesses in Monmouth County using intimidation tactics to steal their cash.

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Prosecutor: Area Man Pleads Guilty to 2014 Murder of Pregnant Girlfriend

An area man pleaded guilty Friday to first-degree aggravated manslaughter in the 2014 strangulation death of his pregnant girlfriend and faces up to 28 years in prison, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced in a released statement.

Sender Neftali Villatoro-Reyes, 27, of Freehold Borough entered his guilty plea before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Richard W. English.

The case background … 

On Friday, May 16, 2014, at 2:15 a.m., Villatoro-Reyes called 911 and reported that he killed his 30-year-old girlfriend, Lucenay Fermin Gallegos, at their 51 Hudson Street Apt. #3 home in Freehold Borough.

Police responded to the scene where they found Fermin Gallegos dead on the couch in their apartment. She was pronounced at 3:27 a.m. by Dr. Spiegel at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. An autopsy was conducted the same day by Middlesex County Medical Examiner Diane Karluk.

The cause of death was deemed asphyxia due to manual strangulation. The victim was approximately five months pregnant at the time of her death.

The Freehold Borough Police Department and Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit conducted a joint investigation.

Villatoro-Reyes was arrested and charged with murder the same day. The defendant was originally indicted by a grand jury on March 23, 2015, for one count of murder.

At his plea before Judge English, Villatoro-Reyes admitted that he during an argument with the victim, the defendant placed his hands around her throat, strangling her to death.

Pursuant to the plea agreement, the state is recommending a sentence of 28 years in a state prison. Subject to the No Early Release Act, Villatoro-Reyes must serve 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole; in addition, he will be under parole supervision for five years once released.

Villatoro-Reyes is scheduled for sentencing on April 21, 2017 before Judge English.

Villatoro-Reyes is being held in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution on $1 million bail with no 10 percent option.

Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutors Jennifer Lipp and Julia Alonso handled the case.

Villatoro-Reyes is represented by Allison Friedman, Esq., of Freehold.

— Edited press release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office