A man accused of murdering his pregnant wife in East Orange NJ was recently denied in his bid to withdraw an earlier guilty plea.
The fatal incident occurred at the suspect’s East Orange residence in December 2013. The 36-year-old suspect allegedly strangled his 26-year-old wife during an argument about the paternity of her child. The suspect reportedly became enraged when the victim told him that he was not the baby’s father.
At the time of the victim’s death, she was nine months pregnant. Tragically, the unborn child also died as a result of the violent incident.
According to authorities, the suspect later admitted to investigators that he committed the homicide.
In March 2016, the suspect arrived at a plea agreement with the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office: in exchange for the suspect pleading guilty to charges of aggravated manslaughter, prosecutors would recommend that he be sentenced to 16 years in New Jersey State Prison.
However, after reaching the deal with Essex County prosecutors, the suspect tried to withdraw his guilty plea. The suspect went before an Essex County Superior Court judge and argued that his defense attorney had failed to provide him with important documents and evidence before he agreed to the plea deal. The materials included crime scene photos, autopsy photos, an autopsy report, and a grand jury transcript.
During a recent court hearing, the suspect’s new attorney argued that his client “really could not make a knowing, intelligent decision” without having access to the withheld evidence.
The judge ultimately rejected that argument and said that the suspect clearly understood the terms of his plea deal. Moreover, said the Essex County judge, the suspect entered into the plea agreement knowingly and voluntarily.
For further information about this case, access the DailyRecord.com article, “Judge Won’t Let Man Withdraw Plea in Pregnant Wife’s Slaying.”