Belleville, NJ Authorities: Home Invasion Suspect Shot with Own Gun
Essex County police are looking into a Belleville, NJ home invasion that teft the alleged burglar dead. The burglary incident happened on Halloween night, at around 10:00 p.m. The suspect, 42-year-old Michael Ridley, entered a house on Berton Place in Belleville, New Jersey and got into a physical altercation with a 32-year-old resident who was home at the time. According to authorities, Ridley was armed with a gun when he gained access to the residence. The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office and the Belleville Police Department later issued a joint press release and stated that Ridley initially used the handgun to shoot the resident. When the resident gained control of the weapon, he reportedly fired at least one gunshot at Ridley.
Ridley sustained a serious gunshot wound and then fled the area. He only got to the Belleville-Nutley border before he collapsed to the ground. Emergency medical responders found Ridley at the border and prounced him dead at the scene. The Belleville, NJ home resident was transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital so that he could receive medical treatment for a gunshot wound and other injuries suffered in the attack. He was later released from the hospital.
NJ Felony Murder Charges
Essex County Prosecutor’s Office detectives are investigating the fatal shooting and attempting to determine exactly what happened in the violent incident. It is believed that there may have been another person who broke into the Belleville, residence. Although no arrests have been made at this time, it’s possible that criminal charges could be announced in the near future. Depending on the circumstances, the other suspect could be charged with burglary, theft of movable property, criminal weapons offenses, and even felony murder.
The other suspect could face murder charges despite the fact that he or she did not possess the firearm used to kill Ridley. A lot will depend on how prosecutors interpret the case and on what an Essex County Superior Court jury ultimately decides. Under the New Jersey Criminal Code, a felony murder conviction can apply even if the homicide was an accident and even if the person being charged with felony murder did not intend to commit a murder. What matters is that a person was killed during the commission of a felony.
Felonies that can lead to a felony murder charge in NJ include:
- Sexual Assault
- Criminal Escape
Contact an Experienced Essex County Criminal Defense Lawyer Who Handles Murder Cases
If you were arrested for a violent crime in Essex County, NJ, Travis Tormey and his team of criminal defense lawyers at the Tormey Law Firm can defend you against the criminal charges. Our experienced attorneys can help you fight a murder or manslaughter charge in NJ because they have successfully represented clients facing felony charges in Superior Courts throughout the state. Contact us today to begin your defense.