MANCHESTER – A man who stabbed another over a drug deal has pleaded guilty to Aggravated Manslaughter, according to police.
John T. Mullen Jr., 51, of Seaside Heights, is facing a possibility of 30 years in prison at his sentencing on Nov. 30.
The charge stems from the death of Thomas J. Applegate, 34, of Manchester, who was found dead in the driveway of Surf and Stream Campground on October 20, 2019.
What followed was a joint investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Manchester Police Department, and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit.
Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer commended the work of Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Michael Abatemarco and Assistant Prosecutor Alyssa Mandara who handled the case on behalf of the State, as well as the collaborative efforts of the 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, Manchester Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit.
“Through good old-fashioned police work, these law enforcement agencies – acting together – expeditiously solved this heinous crime and identified Mullen as the individual responsible for Mr. Applegate’s death,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated. “As a result of their tremendous teamwork, for which I am extremely grateful, this dangerous man was swiftly apprehended, and will now be required to answer for his crime with a lengthy state prison sentence. Justice for Mr. Applegate and his family will be served.”