Acting Morris County Prosecutor Knapp Announces Cause and Manner of Deaths in Fatal Shootings in Parsippany

Acting Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp announced this afternoon the cause and manner of yesterday’s deaths of Chester Andraka and Rosaria Andraka, husband and wife of 2 Medford Road, Parsippany, New Jersey. Yesterday, the Parsippany Police, after receiving a telephone call from Chester Andraka’s place of employment, proceeded to his home and upon observing a body on a couch through a window, forcibly entered the locked home to discover the Andraka’s bodies.

Acting Prosecutor Knapp stated that the homicide of Rosaria Andraka, 43 years old, was caused by gunshot wounds inflicted upon her. Acting Prosecutor Knapp further stated that the suicide of Chester Andraka, 46 years old, was caused by a gunshot wound. The findings were made following an investigation and autopsies conducted by the Morris County Medical Examiner.

Acting Prosecutor Knapp would like to thank Chief Anthony DeZenzo and the Parsippany Police Department, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Section, the Morris County Medical Examiner’s Office and members of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office who assisted in this matter.

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

Howell Township Man Pleads Guilty to Aggravated Manslaughter in Connection with the Death of Mount Arlington Police Officer Joseph Wargo

Acting Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp announced today that Michael Cassella, age 30, of Howell, New Jersey pled guilty to one count of Aggravated Manslaughter, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:ll-4, a crime of the First Degree. The defendant also pled guilty to Driving While Intoxicated, a violation ofN.J.S.A. 39:4-50.

On October 16, 2011 the defendant, driving while intoxicated shortly after midnight on Interstate Route 80 West, in the Township of Roxbury, lost control of his vehicle, crossed the center line, and crashed into the marked police vehicle of veteran Mount Arlington Police Officer Joseph Wargo. Officer Wargo was 38 years old at the time of the accident. Officer Wargo died as a result of injuries sustained during the collision.

In exchange for a plea of guilty to Aggravated Manslaughter, the State recommended the defendant receive a term of imprisonment of 20 years, subject to applicability of the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2. The defendant also pled guilty to Driving While Intoxicated. For that offense, the State recommended that any sentence imposed run concurrent with the Aggravated Manslaughter sentence. The State also moved for immediate revocation of the defendant’s bail and subsequent incarceration.

“The senseless death of Officer Wargo warrants a strong response from the criminal justice system,” said Acting Prosecutor Knapp. “All members of the Morris County and State law · enforcement communities grieve his passing, and we extend our heartfelt sympathy to his family.”

As a result of the No Early Release Act, the defendant is subject to a term of parole ineligibility of 85 percent of the sentence imposed by the Court on the Aggravated Manslaughter plea. The defendant will also be subject to five years parole supervision, and is responsible for all fines, assessments and penalties.

Acting Morris County Prosecutor Knapp would like to commend and thank the New Jersey State Police, the Morris County Sheriffs Office, Mt. Arlington Police Chief Keith Licata, the Mt. Arlington Police Department and the Roxbury Police Department for their exemplary work on this matter. In addition, he would like to thank the Assistant Prosecutors and Investigators from the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office for the countless hours they devoted in bringing this matter to a conclusion.

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

Two Fatalities in Rockaway Twp Residential Fire Update

Acting Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp is confirming the identities of the two individuals who died as a result of a residential fire at 471 Green Pond Road, Rockaway Township, New Jersey on January 18, 2013.

Pamela Decker, 59 years old, and her 17 year old son Daniel Decker died as a result of injuries sustained in the fire. Brent Decker, Pamela’s husband and Daniel’s father, was taken to Saint Clare’s Hospital for the treatment of injuries sustained in the fire.

The Origin and Cause Investigation, conducted by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Arson Environmental Crimes Unit, revealed that the fire originated in the rear of the residence in the area of the car port. The investigation revealed the improper use of extension cords in the area of the origin to heat an unattached structure on the property. The exact cause of the fire remains undetermined at this time. Cold weather and high winds and an insufficient number and placement of smoke detectors were factors in the outcome of the fire. The investigation has not revealed any indications that the fire was the result of an intentional act.

Acting Prosecutor Knapp thanks the Rockaway Township Fire Department, Rockaway Township Police Department, Rockaway Borough Fire Department, Picatinny Arsenal Fire Department, St. Clare’s Emergency Medical Services, Morris County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Section, and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Arson Unit for services in this incident.

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