Jersey City Man Charged with Multiple Counts of Aggravated Manslaughter and Assault by Auto

Acting Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp and Jefferson Township Police Chief Kevin Craig announce the arrest of Luis E. Torres, 37, of Jersey City , New Jersey, on a variety of charges including multiple counts of Aggravated Manslaughter, Vehicular Homicide and Assault by Auto.
On August 24, 2013 at approximately 6:51p.m., Officers Sean Krater and Dave Wojtach of the Jefferson Township Police Department responded to Route 15 South near the intersection of Heller’s Lane for a report of a single vehicle motor vehicle collision.

Jersey City Man Charged with Multiple Counts of Aggravated Manslaughter and Assault by Auto
Luis E. Torres, 37, of Jersey City

The initial investigation revealed that a 2002 Ford Explorer operated by the defendant, Luis Torres, was traveling South on Route 15 when the vehicle he was operating suddenly swerved and left the roadway. The vehicle overturned ejecting numerous passengers from the vehicle. Nine passengers including the driver were traveling in the vehicle. Two passengers were pronounced dead at the scene of the collision, a third, who was five months pregnant, along with her unborn child were both pronounced dead at Morristown Memorial Hospital. The deceased were identified as Lucila Colon age 62, Tevia Booth age 11 and Julissa Colon age 36 and her unborn child.  All were residents of Jersey City. The driver and remaining passengers were transported to St. Clare’s-Dover Hospital with moderate to serious injuries.

Through a criminal investigation conducted by the Jefferson Township Police Department along with the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, a Warrant for the Arrest of Torres was signed by the Honorable Stuart A. Minkowitz on August 25, 2013.

The defendant was charged with three counts of Aggravated Manslaughter in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4(a) (1), a crime of the first degree; three counts of Vehicular Homicide in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5b (1), a crime of the second degree; and five counts of Assault by Auto in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1c (2), a crime of the fourth degree.

Judge Minkowitz set bail at $750,000 cash, bond or property with no 10% option. The defendant was remanded to the Morris County Correctional Facility.

Anyone with information relating to these charges is urged to contact the Jefferson Township Police Department at 973-697-1300 or the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit at 973-285-6200.

Acting Prosecutor Fredric Knapp would like to thank Chief Craig of the Jefferson Township Police Department along with Captain Wilsusen and Officers Krater, Wojtach, Detectives Kratzel and Geib and numerous other officers of the Jefferson Township Police Department. He would also like to thank the Morris County Medical Examiner’s Office, the New Jersey State Police Accident Reconstruction Unit, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Section, the Rockaway Township Police Department, the Sparta Township Police Department, Jefferson Township Fire Co. #2, the Jefferson Rescue Squad, the Milton First Aid Squad, the Mine Hill Rescue Squad, Atlantic Health Systems Air One and the New Jersey DOT. Prosecutor Knapp also thanks Lieutenant Steve Wilson, Senior Trial Counsel John McNamara, Assistant Prosecutor Brian DiGiacomo and the members of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, all of whom participated in this investigation.

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]

Morristown Man Arrested on Charges of Drug Possession and Distribution

Acting Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp announces the arrest of Titus T. Booze, 41 years old, of Morristown, New Jersey on a variety of charges including Possession of CDS, Possession with Intent to Distribute CDS, and Distribution of CDS.                 

On May 15, 2013, Booze allegedly sold a controlled dangerous substance that tested positive for the presumptive presence of cocaine, in a quantity of less than one-half ounce within 1,000 feet of Saint Mary’s School in Wharton, New Jersey.

The defendant was charged with Third Degree Possession of CDS (cocaine); Third Degree Possession with Intent to Distribute CDS less than one-half ounce (cocaine); Third Degree Distribution of CDS less than one-half ounce (cocaine); Third Degree Possession with Intent to Distribute CDS within 1000 feet of a school (cocaine); Third Degree Distribution of CDS within 1000 feet of a school (cocaine).

The Honorable Michael Luther, J.M.C. set bail at $25,000 with no 10% with a bail source hearing requirement. The defendant was unable to post bail and was remanded to the Morris County Correctional Facility.

After a lengthy criminal investigation conducted by the Morris County Prosecutors Office, Booze was arrested on August 21, 2013.

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 County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Unit at 973-285-6200.

Acting Prosecutor Fredric Knapp would like to thank the Wharton Police Department, the Mount Olive Police Department, the Parsippany-Troy Hills Police Department and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Task Force.

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].

Morristown Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Aggravated Sexual Assault

Acting Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp announces that the Honorable Robert Gilson, J.S.C. sentenced Milton Argueta-Benitez, 45 years old, of Morristown, New Jersey to 20 years in State Prison in connection with acts of sexual abuse against two victims of which the defendant is related to by blood or affinity.

On April 29, 2013, defendant pled guilty to one count First Degree Aggravated Sexual Assault and one count Second Degree Sexual Assault. Defendant had originally been charged on a 35 count indictment with various sexual offenses involving the two victims in question.

The defendant admitted to numerous acts of penetration against one victim while she was between 13 and 15 and numerous acts of sexual contact with the second victim while she was under the age of 13.  The acts of abuse occurred over the course of eight years between 1999 and 2007.  The acts occurred in Dover, Randolph and Roxbury but were initially reported to Morristown Police.  Det. Marshall Wang of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes/Child Endangerment Unit led the investigation.

Judge Gilson sentenced defendant to 20 years in State Prison subject to the No Early Release Act. The defendant will also be subject to Parole and Community Supervision for Life as well as registration pursuant to Megan’s Law.

Supervising Assistant Prosecutor/SDAG Meg Rodriguez represented the State at the sentencing.

Acting Morris County Prosecutor Knapp thanked Police Chief Peter Demnitz and the Morristown Police Department, specifically Detective Keith Hudson and Sgt. Tyrone Jackson for their assistance at the beginning of the investigation, as well as the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes/Child Endangerment Unit for the efforts resulting in today’s sentence.

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