Update on Flanders Residential Fire

Acting Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp and Mount Olive Police Chief Mark Spitzer are confirming the identity of the juvenile victim who died in the fire yesterday, February 18, 2013 at Unit 56B Main Street, Flanders, New Jersey as Cristiano Bonner, age 7, the son of Carmella Moustafa and Robert Bonner. Hesham Moustafa, the husband of Carmella Moustafa, also died in yesterday’s fire. Carmella Moustafa sustained injuries in yesterday’s fire but has been released from the hospital.

A fourth victim of the fire, Bianca Bonner, age 9, the daughter of Carmella Moustafa and Robert Bonner, remains hospitalized in stable condition. Rewan Moustafa, age 19, the daughter of Hesham Moustafa, was in the residence at the time of the fire but did not sustain injuries.

The Mount Olive Police Department, Mount Olive Fire Marshal, Morris County Sheriff’s Office and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes and Arson Units conducted an Origin and Cause investigation into the fire. That investigation revealed that space heaters were being used to warm the apartment. One of those space heaters was placed near the apartment’s side door. The wiring used to power the space heater was improperly altered. This condition caused the fire in the foyer area. A lack of operational smoke detectors in the apartment allowed the fire to extend into the kitchen trapping the occupants in the rear of the apartment. The cause of the fire was determined to be accidental in nature.

Acting Prosecutor Knapp and Chief Spitzer request all individuals make sure all smoke detectors are operating properly with fresh batteries. Smoke detector batteries should be changed twice a year at daylight savings time. Space heaters should never be left unattended and manufacturer’s use instructions must be explicitly followed. A space heater, or any electrical appliance, should never be altered by anyone other than an approved technician.

Acting Prosecutor Knapp thanks Chief Mark Spitzer and the Mount Olive Police Department, Mount Olive Fire Marshall Fred Detoro, Flanders Fire Chief Frank Zeller and the Flanders Fire Department, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office, the Morris County Office of Emergency Management, and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes and Arson Units for services rendered at the scene.

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

Butler Woman Found Guilty Of The Murder of Her Husband

Acting Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp announced today that a Morris County Jury found 47 year old Amalia Mirasola guilty of the murder of her husband, Carl Mirasola. The jury also found her guilty of the possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. The jury returned its verdict after slightly more than one and one half days of deliberations. Assistant Prosecutor Matthew Troiano represented the State in the trial which had commenced on January 2, 2013.

The defendant was charged with murder and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose resulting in the shooting death of her husband on May 22, 2010. Carl Mirasola was 43 years old at the time of his death. The shooting occurred at the Mirasola’s Butler home.

The defendant faces 30 years to life in State Prison on the murder verdict and an additional 5 to 10 years in prison on the 2nd degree offense verdict of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

Acting Prosecutor Knapp stated “The jury considered the evidence and reached a result that shows their considered judgment. I am pleased that the victim’s family has received some level of closure with regard to this tragedy. Matthew Troiano did an absolutely wonderful job in presenting this case to the jury. The sentence recommendation that this Office makes shall be appropriate and supported by the reasons that we shall give to the court at the appropriate juncture.”

Acting Prosecutor Knapp thanks Chief Edward Card and the Butler Police Department, Sheriff Edward Rochford and the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Section, the Morris County Medical Examiner’s Office, the New Jersey State Police and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit whose efforts contributed to this result.

The Honorable Robert J. Gilson revoked the defendant’s bail after the guilty findings and the defendant surrendered into custody. The defendant’s sentencing is scheduled for March 15, 2013 at 1:30 p.m.

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

Bank Robbery at JP Morgan Chase in Morris Plains

On Monday, February 11, 2013 at approximately 6:00 p.m., the JP Morgan Chase Bank located at 1711 Route 10 Morris Plains, New Jersey was robbed. Approximately $5,000 was stolen. The suspect fled on foot.

The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office and the Morris Plains Police Department, in conjunction with other authorities, are seeking a black male who is depicted in the two security video images below. Any person with information regarding this incident is requested to contact Lt. Stephen Wilson of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office at 973-285-6212, Det. Jason Kohn of the Morris Plains Police Department at 973-538-2284, or Morris County Sheriff’s CrimeStoppers at 973-267-2255. All calls will be kept confidential.

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