FREEHOLD – Jackson resident Gerard A. Grimes Jr., 24, pled guilty to first degree aggravated manslaughter and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm before a Monmouth County Judge.
Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced that Grimes admitted to shooting five times at the three men who were chasing after him. He pled before Judge Marc C. LeMieux regarding his role in the shooting death of 43-year-old Narcisco Rodriguez-Corona of Manalapan who was struck by one of the five shots in October 2019.
Grimes will return for sentencing on Nov. 20, as part of his plea agreement, prosecutors will recommend a 12-year sentence in a New Jersey state prison on the aggravated manslaughter charge, subject to the provisions of the “No Early Release Act” (NERA), requiring him to serve 85 percent of his imposed sentence before becoming eligible for release on parole.
He would also be under parole supervision for five years following his prospective release from state prison. There will also be a recommendation for a seven-year state prison term to run concurrent with the other sentence included in his plea agreement.
The Oct. 5, 2019 case involving Grimes co-defendants, Zoey S. Monte, 21, and Tyler J. Martucci, 23, also from Jackson, remain pending.
Manalapan police responded to the 9:34 p.m. call reporting a fight at 25 Fawn Run in the township. A few minutes later, they received another call for a confirmed shooting victim.
Upon their arrival, the officers discovered Rodriguez-Corona suffering from a gunshot wound. He was transported to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, where he was pronounced dead.
The officers started to search the area and after a few hours they attempted a motor vehicle stop of Grimes’ vehicle, but he failed to stop. He later fled from his vehicle. Monte and Martucci were also onboard the vehicle and were arrested at that time. Grimes was found a short time later in the backyard of a neighborhood residence.
Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office joined Manalapan Township Police in the investigation which Grimes came to the Manalapan residence armed with a handgun. He attempted to enter the residence while Monte and Martucci remained outside.
Residents of the home were alerted to Grimes’ presence and attempted to stop him from entering, resulting in a brief confrontation outside the home. Shortly thereafter, a second encounter occurred nearby, where Grimes ultimately shot the victim.
Grimes, Monte and Martucci all fled the area. Monte was indicted on charges of one count of second degree burglary, one count of second degree conspiracy to commit burglary, one count of second degree unlawful possession of a handgun, one count of second degree possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose, one count of fourth degree unlawful possession of a weapon, and one count of third degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
Martucci was indicted on one count of second-degree burglary, one count of second degree conspiracy to commit burglary, one count of second-degree unlawful possession of a handgun, one count of second degree possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose, one count of fourth degree unlawful possession of a weapon, and one count of third degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutors Lawrence Nelson and Merlin Thomas have been assigned to the case while Grimes will be represented by Tinton Falls attorney Glenn Kassman.
Monte is represented by attorney John Perrone, of Long Branch and Martucci is represented by West Orange attorney Albert Kapin.