County Prosecutors Association of the State of New Jersey Announces Scholarships

The County Prosecutors Association of New Jersey, Inc. announces the availability of the Oscar W. Rittenhouse, Andrew K. Ruotolo, Jr., Harris Y. Cotton and the John H. Stamler Memorial Scholarships. The Association, a nonprofit corporation, annually awards scholarships to law students, college and graduate students. Each scholarship is a one-year grant in the amount of $3,500.00 paid directly to the recipient. Scholarship recipients from previous years are ineligible.

To be eligible for the Oscar W. Rittenhouse Memorial Scholarship, an applicant must be a New Jersey resident accepted for admission to a law school. The applicant must have an interest in pursuing a career as a prosecutor. The applicant must also demonstrate financial need.

To be eligible for the Andrew K. Ruotolo, Jr. Memorial Scholarship, an applicant must be a New Jersey resident accepted for admission to a law school or graduate school. The applicant must exhibit an interest in, and commitment to, enhancing the rights and well-being of children through child advocacy programs. The applicant must also exhibit financial need.

To be eligible for the Harris Y. Cotton Memorial Scholarship, an applicant must be a New Jersey resident accepted for admission to a law school. The applicant must have an interest in pursuing a career as a prosecutor with an emphasis in Domestic Violence or Hate Crime prosecutions. The applicant must also demonstrate financial need.

To be eligible for the John H. Stamler Memorial Scholarship, an applicant must be a New Jersey resident and a sworn law enforcement officer seeking educational advancement on a college or graduate level to improve his or her effectiveness as a law enforcement officer. The applicant must also demonstrate financial need.

Applications must be postmarked by September 30, 2013. Personal interviews of finalists will be conducted. Applicants will be notified of the Committee’s decision in November 2013. Anyone interested in receiving an application can download same at www.cpany.info.

Mount Arlington Man Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison For Felony Murder of Neighbor

Acting Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp announces that the Honorable Mary Gibbons Whipple, J.S.C. sentenced Danny Cole, age 42, of Mount Arlington, New Jersey, to 40 years in State Prison in connection with the felony murder of his neighbor, Barbara Wilson, age 77, also of Mount Arlington.

On May 21, 2013, defendant pled guilty to First Degree Felony Murder, Second Degree Burglary and Fourth Degree Obstruction of a Governmental Function.

On February 6, 2011, at approximately 1 p.m., officers with the Mt. Arlington Police Department found the body of Barbara Wilson inside her home at 421 Howard Boulevard in Mount Arlington, New Jersey. The victim was widowed and lived alone.

The victim suffered trauma to her head and face. She was wearing a nightgown. She was bound with duct tape around her ankles. Portions of her residence were in disarray. On or about February 6, 2011, an autopsy was conducted by Morris County Deputy Medical Examiner Dr. Carlos Fonseca. He certified the manner of death as homicide and the cause of death to be blunt force trauma. Dr. Fonseca opined that Barbara Wilson’s time of death was somewhere between 12 and 24 hours before her body was found.

The discovery of the victim led to an investigation into her death. This investigation involved multiple law enforcement agencies including the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit (MCU), the New Jersey State Police, the Morris County Park Police, Mt. Arlington Police Department, Roxbury Police Department and Morris County Sheriff’s Office. Detective Thomas Laird of the MCU served as lead detective for the investigation.

DNA collected from the duct tape that was left at the crime scene, was matched to the defendant. During the investigation law enforcement officers matched a blue garbage pail lid in Ms. Wilson’s home to a container found in the defendant’s home along with at least two tote-like bins which were missing from the spare bedroom the victim was found in. On February 15, 2011 these bins were recovered in defendant’s apartment along with a television set that was missing from the victim’s master bedroom. The defendant was indicted on December 20, 2011.

The Honorable Mary Gibbons Whipple, J.S.C. sentenced the defendant to 40 years in State Prison on the guilty plea to Felony Murder pursuant to the No Early Release Act. The Burglary conviction merged as a matter of law. He was also sentenced to 18 months in State Prison on the guilty plea to Obstructing a Governmental Function. The sentences shall run concurrently.

Assistant Prosecutor/SDAG Tracy Dannis and Senior Trial Counsel/SDAG John K. McNamara, Jr. represented the State at the sentencing.

Acting Morris County Prosecutor Knapp stated, “The senseless and tragic death of Barbara Wilson compelled this sentence. Her extended family and friends grieve this loss of their mother, grandmother, aunt and friend. We hope that this sentence in some way helps them through this difficult time.”

Acting Prosecutor Knapp thanks the New Jersey State Police, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office, Police Chief Keith Licata and the Mt. Arlington Police Department, Chief David Wieland and the Morris County Park Police, Chief James Simonetti and the Roxbury Police Department, Chief Kevin Craig and the Jefferson Police Department, the Morris County Office of Emergency Management, the Morris County Medical Examiner and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit who assisted in the investigation and resolution of this matter.

Any inquiries can be directed to First Assistant Morris County Prosecutor/SDAG Thomas Zelante at 973-285-6252 or [email protected].

Morris Township Man Arrested on Charges Involving Attempted Murder, Robbery and Aggravated Assault

Acting Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp, Morris Township Police Chief John McGuinnes and Morristown Bureau of Police Chief Peter Demnitz announce the arrest of Alexander Duval Foster, 20 years old, of Morris Township, New Jersey, on a variety of charges including Attempted Murder, Robbery, Aggravated Assault and Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon.

At approximately 1:00 a.m. this morning the Morristown Bureau of Police reported that a male was brought to the Morristown Medical Center reporting that he was shot in the abdomen. The victim provided a description of the location of the incident and the suspect involved in the shooting to the police. Law enforcement responded to the scene reported by the victim at the Jean Street Apartments in Morris Township where blood was observed near a parking space. Two shell casings and one live round were also recovered from the area near the blood stain. Upon canvassing the area, individuals identified Foster as a suspect in the shooting.

The Honorable Mary Gibbons Whipple, J.S.C. authorized a search warrant for the person of Alexander Duval Foster as well as his residence. Law enforcement officers executed a search of 1 Jean Street. During the course of this search, officers recovered a .38 Special Revolver along with other items. Two .38 caliber shell casings and one live .38 caliber round were recovered near the scene of this shooting incident. A package of marijuana was also recovered within 1 Jean Street.

The defendant was charged with Attempted Murder, a crime of the first degree; Robbery, a crime of the first degree; Aggravated Assault, a crime of the second degree; Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, a crime of the third degree; Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, a crime of the second degree; Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, a crime of the second degree; Weapons, Controlled Dangerous Substances and Other Offenses, Penalties, a crime of the second degree; Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance with Intent to Distribute (Marijuana One Ounce or More But Less Than Five Pounds), a crime of the third degree; Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance with Intent to Distribute Within 1000 feet of School Property, a crime of the third degree; Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance with Intent to Distribute within 500 feet of a Public Park, a crime of the second degree; and Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (Marijuana Over 50 Grams), a crime of the fourth degree.

The victim is currently in stable condition at Morristown Medical Center.

The Honorable Mary Gibbons Whipple, J.S.C. set bail at $500,000.00 with no 10% option. The defendant was unable to post bail and was remanded to the Morris County Correctional Facility.

The investigation is active and ongoing. No other information is being released at this time.

Anyone with information relating to these charges is urged to contact the Morris Township Police Department at 973-539-0777 or the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit at 973-285-6200.

Acting Prosecutor Fredric Knapp and would like to thank Lieutenant Stephen Wilson, Sergeant Steven Brylinski, and Detective Kathryn Kutepow of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, Detective Christopher Vargas-Vila of the Morris Township Police Department and the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Section whose efforts contributed to this arrest.

A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. Despite this accusation, the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until he or she has been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Any inquiries can be directed to First Assistant Morris County Prosecutor/SDAG Thomas Zelante at 973-285-6252 or [email protected].