SOUTH TOMS RIVER – A borough man is facing a decade in jail following his guilty plea to aggravated manslaughter and related charges according to Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer.
Borough resident Marcus Samuels, 32, pled guilty to Aggravated Manslaughter before Judge Guy P. Ryan, concerning the shooting death of Willie Love, 27, of Beachwood, that occurred on June 8, 2015 in South Toms River.
Samuels also pled guilty to a charge of Conspiracy to Commit Witness Tampering as well as an unrelated charge of Aggravated Assault concerning an incident in Seaside Heights on May 3, 2015.
When he is sentenced, on July 26, the State will recommend a term of 10 years in New Jersey State Prison, subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act. Regarding the Aggravated Manslaughter charge, as well as 10 years in prison on the Conspiracy to Commit Witness Tampering charge, and five years NJSP on the Aggravated Assault charge, his sentences will run concurrently.
Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit and Officers of the South Toms River Police Department responded on June 8, 2015, to Community Medical Center in Toms River for a report of a male identified as Love, having suffered a gunshot wound to the chest and who later died from his injuries.
The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit and South Toms River Police Department conducted an investigation that revealed Samuels – who was driving a 2004 Dodge Nitro – pulled alongside a vehicle being operated by Love which included three passengers. Samuels then recklessly fired a handgun into Love’s car, striking him..
Samuels turned himself in to law enforcement in the presence of his attorney on June 12, 2015, and has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail ever since.
He was detained in the Ocean County Jail pending trial on these charges and conspired with other inmates to influence a witness into retracting or changing a statement previously provided to law enforcement in connection with the investigation.
Prosecutor Billhimer thanked the efforts of Supervising Assistant Prosecutor William Porter and Assistant Prosecutor Stephen Burke who handled the case on behalf of the State, as well as the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, South Toms River Police Department, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, and New Jersey State Police Office of Forensic Science, for their collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation, ultimately resulting in Samuels’ guilty pleas, and soon his state prison sentence.