FREEHOLD – A Wall Township man was arrested and charged with murder and related offenses in the death of his 6-week-old baby girl, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
Austin Meli, 23, was charged with one count of first degree Murder, and one count of second degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child. If convicted of Murder, Meli faces a minimum sentence of 30 years in a New Jersey state prison without parole and a maximum sentence of Life imprisonment without parole. Wall Township Police Department responded on March 9, 2019 to a residence in the township regarding an unresponsive six-week-old infant girl.
The investigation determined that six-week-old (G.B.) was in the immediate care of her father, Austin Meli, at the time she was found to be unresponsive. G.B. was subsequently pronounced deceased at Ocean Medical Center, in Brick.
As a result of the ongoing investigation, additional details surrounding G.B.’s death were provided to investigators, resulting in the homicide charge being brought against Meli. Meli is currently being held in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution in Freehold Township.
If anyone has any information that can assist the investigative team, they are urged to call Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Detective Shawn Murphy at 732-431-7160 ext. 7032 or Wall Township Police Detective Chris Lisewski at 732-449-4800 ext. 1140. This case is assigned to Monmouth County Prosecutor Ellyn Rajfer.
Meli is represented by Jeffrey Coghlan, Esq., of Freehold. Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law