A Tinton Falls woman has been found guilty of first-degree murder and related charges stemming from incidents six years ago, Acting Prosecutor Lori Linskey said on Friday.
The woman, Jennifer Sweeny, 38, had her girlfriend shot about six years ago. After the girlfriend was hospitalized, Sweeny strangled her several months later and buried her body in a Long Branch back yard.
Sweeney was found guilty of: first-degree murder, first-degree conspiracy to commit murder, three related weapons offenses, second-degree desecration of human remains, and fourth-degree tampering with physical evidence. The charges stem from the 2015 death of her girlfriend, Tyrita Julius of Linden.
The case background …
At 7:16 a.m. on Nov. 24, 2015, Linden police responded to the 900 block of Middlesex Street on a report of a shooting. Upon arrival, police found Julius, who had been shot eight times, in the driver’s seat of her car, which was found after colliding with a utility pole a short distance from her residence. The victim’s teenage daughter was in the front passenger seat, also having sustained gunshot wounds.
The investigation into the shooting was ongoing when, on March 9, 2016, Julius’s mother reported her daughter missing to both Linden and Long Branch police departments. Police, at the time, were told that Tyrita had been spending time with a female friend in Tinton Falls the day before, but failed to return home later that evening.
An investigation ensued involving area police and county authorities. As a result, on Aug. 16, 2016, Julius’s body was found by detectives during the course of a search of the Long Branch residence of 37-year-old Andre Harris, the gunman in the November 2015 shooting of Julius. The victim’s remains were discovered buried in the back yard, wrapped in two garbage bags, with an electrical cord around her neck. Sweeney and Harris were then arrested and charged, with a Monmouth County jury returning an indictment against each in December of 2016.
Harris later reached a plea agreement for an NJ state prison term of 16 years with 85 percent to be served before parole possibility under the state’s No Early Release Act, and agreed to testify during Sweeney’s trial. Sweeney now faces a term of up to life in state prison without the possibility of parole. Sentencing has been scheduled for Nov. 19.
— Edited press release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office
- Prosecutor: Former Corrections Officer Sentenced for Shoplifting
- In Memoriam: Longtime Rumsonite Winifred Svikart, 88
- Prosecutor: Two Charged With Supplying Drugs That Killed Woman in Overdose Death
- Prosecutor: 14 Arrested on Internet Child Sex Abuse Charges in Task Force Sweep
- Prosecutor: Cop Hits Building with Patrol SUV