BRICK – New details have come to light in the case involving a son’s alleged brutal murder of his father that took place last month.
On Sept. 7, Brick Police responded to a residence on Acorn Drive in Brick Township where they discovered the body of 55-year old Mark Richard Austin. According to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, Austin was savagely beaten to death with a baseball bat in a murder planned by his son and another man.
Authorities charged Austin’s son, 28-year-old Mark J. Austin, and 27-year-old Jeray Melton of Salem City with murder; conspiracy to commit murder; possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and unlawful possession of a weapon.
Austin and Melton are both being held in the Ocean County Jail.
Now, new information has come to light in the case, which has been somewhat shrouded in mystery since the news broke over a month ago.
A report by NJ101.5 states that Austin was first found by friend Jeremy Londino in the home at around 9 p.m., lying on the sofa surrounded by blood-spattered walls.
According to a report by the Asbury Park Press, Melton told authorities that Austin put a gun to his head and forced him to beat his father to death with the baseball bat, threatening to kill his family if he refused. The report describes the incident staring out as a trip to purchase marijuana, which then turned into a plot to murder.
It was also revealed that Austin sent the following text message to his father after he was already dead: “Dad, you want a cheesesteak? I’m at Geno’s,” according to the Press report. Allegedly, Austin had his father’s phone right next to him when the message was sent.
Detectives tracked both phones’ location to Route 70 near Salem around the time of the murder, the report said.
The NJ101.5 report also stated that Melton went back to Salem with Austin, where Austin instructed him take his clothes off, put them in a garbage bag, pour bleach on them and throw them in a dumpster.
An affidavit states that police found a beer, spoon, a belt and possible narcotics paraphernalia at the elder Austin’s home. The younger Austin falsely informed investigators that his father said he was going to Bayonne to buy heroin, and that his father asked him to go to a location on Route 70 near Route 72 to pick up a black male who was standing on the side of the road.
Austin was ordered to remain in jail Wednesday and await trial. Melton agreed to remain in jail, also awaiting trial.