MANCHESTER – A township resident is facing the possibility of three decades in jail after pleading guilty to terrorism according to Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer.
Dion Marsh, 28, will be sentenced on March 22. At that time the State will be seeking a term of 30 years New Jersey State Prison without the possibility of parole, police said.
On April 8, 2022, Marsh committed a series of serious crimes. It began when he approached a stopped vehicle in Lakewood and attempted to open the door. The driver locked the door and pulled away. Marsh reached through the open window and attempted to hold on to the vehicle as it was in motion; the vehicle traveled approximately one city block before he finally let go.
Minutes later, Lakewood police responded to a carjacking. Marsh had assaulted the driver, stolen the car, and sped off.
A few hours later, a male pedestrian was crossing Kimball Road at Central Avenue at 5:20 p.m. when he was struck by a car which fled the scene. He only suffered minor injuries.
Five minutes later, a man reported that his son had been approached by a driver. The driver, later identified as Marsh, attempted to grab boy and pull him into the vehicle, but was unsuccessful.
Lakewood Police received a report at 6 p.m. of a pedestrian being struck by a motor vehicle. The victim was treated for his injuries and released.
Around 6:55 p.m., Lakewood Police responded to a 911 call in reference to a stabbing in the vicinity of Pine Circle Drive and Lakewood New Egypt Road. They discovered a male victim with a stab wound to his chest who was taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center, where he where he was treated for his injuries and released.
Jackson police responded to a 911 call at 8:20 p.m. concerning a pedestrian struck by a car in the area of Galassi Court. Responding Officers were able to determine that the male victim had been struck by the same vehicle that was stolen in the Lakewood carjacking incident earlier in the day.
This victim was taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center where he was treated and later moved to a rehabilitation facility, and later released.
Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit and Manchester Township Police Department arrested Marsh at his residence on April 8, 2022 in Manchester Township without incident.
Marsh was initially charged with numerous criminal offenses, including multiple counts of Attempted Murder, Carjacking, Attempted Carjacking, Attempted Kidnapping, Weapons offenses, and Bias Intimidation.
Based upon the facts and circumstances surrounding this series of incidents, Ocean County Prosecutor Billhimer additionally sought the approval of Attorney General Matthew Platkin to charge Marsh with Terrorism; accordingly, Marsh was charged with Terrorism on April 14, 2022. Marsh has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since the date of his arrest, April 8, 2022.
Billhimer said, “the evidence marshaled through the course of this investigation led us to the unmistakable conclusion that these brazen, violent acts were carried out with the purpose of terrorizing the Jewish community in Lakewood and Jackson Townships.”
“Let no one question our resolve when it comes to fighting hatred and bigotry. To those who would seek to terrorize innocent citizens in Ocean County, our message is simple and clear: we will pursue you, prosecute you, and ultimately convict you,” he added.
The Prosecutor said, “we will do everything within our power to send you to prison for a very long time. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, hate has no home in Ocean County.”
“I wish to commend all the law enforcement agencies involved in this investigation, whose combined efforts and teamwork led to this defendant’s swift apprehension – and more than likely saved lives,” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.
He acknowledged the efforts of Chief Trial Attorney Michael Weatherstone, who is handling the case on behalf of the State, as well as the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit, Lakewood Police, Lakewood Detective Bureau, Jackson Police, Manchester Police, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, New Jersey State Police, Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Marshals Service, and New Jersey Department of Homeland Security and Preparedness, for their collective efforts in connection with this investigation leading to Marsh’s apprehension, guilty plea, and soon his very lengthy state prison sentence.