Teen In Shooting Near High School Pleads Guilty

Photo courtesy Vera Schilling-Fozman

TOMS RIVER – An Asbury Park teen pled guilty before an Ocean County judge to aggravated assault and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced today, 

  Alonzo Legrande, 18, pled guilty before the Judge Wendel E. Daniels. His plea was contemplated in connection with his voluntary waiver of the Family Court’s jurisdiction on September 10 and his further agreement to be charged and prosecuted as an adult in criminal court. 

  Legrande is scheduled to be sentenced on November 20 and the State will recommend a 10 year sentence in New Jersey State Prison (NJSP) subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act.

  Around 1:45 p.m. on October 22, 2019 Brick Township Police responded to Brick Memorial High School for a report of a student who had sustained a gunshot wound.

Their investigation revealed that the student was walking home from school with three friends when he was shot approximately one-quarter mile away from Brick Memorial; he then ran back to the school for help. As a precaution, school officials and police locked down the high school as well as neighboring schools before determining there was no immediate danger to students. 

  The victim was treated at Ocean Medical Center in Brick Township and released.

  Video survelliance footage from nearby residences were reviewed by detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Brick Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office reviewed video surveillance footage from nearby residences. 

  The video surveillance showed Legrande, who was 17 years-old at the time, and Luis Rivas, who was also a juvenile, acting together and in support of one another in carrying out the shooting. 

  Further investigation revealed that Legrande fired the gun. He was apprehended on October 23, 2019, and has been lodged in the Ocean County Juvenile Detention Center since his apprehension. 

  Rivas, who also agreed to be prosecuted as an adult, previously pled guilty to conspiracy to commit aggravated assault and is presently scheduled to be sentenced on October 2, 2020. The State will be five-year sentence to NJSP subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act.

  Prosecutor Billhimer said, “our law enforcement partners at the local, county, state, and federal levels, displayed a tremendous amount of teamwork and collaboration to swiftly investigate this crime and bring these individuals into custody. Without this level of cooperation, this horrendous crime would not have been solved, nor would Rivas’ and Legrande’s guilty pleas have been made possible.”

  “The level of coordination and collaboration exhibited by all the officers participating in this investigation was truly outstanding, and I am grateful for their collective assistance which has resulted in two very dangerous individuals being removed from our streets,” Billhimer added.

  Billhimer said, “we will remain vigilant in our efforts to prevent this lawlessness from reoccurring here in Ocean County.” He acknowledged the efforts of Chief Juvenile Assistant Prosecutor Anthony Pierro and Assistant Prosecutor Madeline Buczynski who handled the case on behalf of the State. 

  Billhimer said he was also  grateful for the hard work and persistence of all of the law enforcement agencies involved in securing this plea: Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit; Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit; Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit, Brick Township Police Department; Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit; Toms River Township Police Department; Lakewood Township Police Department; Bay Head Borough Police Department; Point Pleasant Beach Police Department; Asbury Park Police Department; Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit; Monmouth County Emergency Response Team; Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office; New Jersey State Police; New Jersey State Police Regional Operations and Intelligence Center; and the United States Marshals Service.