Fugitive Sentenced To State Prison For Shooting A Man

Donald Rutter (Photo courtesy Ocean County Jail)

  TUCKERTON – A fugitive, who was on the run for 24 days, has been sentenced to five years in New Jersey State Prison (NJSP) for Aggravated Assault after shooting a man, officials said.

  Donald Rutter, 53, of Tuckerton, was arrested on January 28, 2021 when police located him in Atlantic City after fleeing an attempted murder scene.

  A joint investigation revealed that Rutter had shot Thomas Jarvis, 55, of Little Egg Harbor, on January 5. When police arrived to Jarvis Marine on Radio Road after a 911 call, they found Jarvis with a gunshot wound to his midsection. He was transported to AtlantiCare Regional Medical for treatment and was eventually released from the hospital.

  On June 13, Rutter pled guilty to Aggravated Assault as well as Stalking.


  On July 25, Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that Rutter was sentenced to five years in NJSP as a result of his guilty plea to Aggravated Assault. This sentence will be subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act, meaning that Rutter will be required to serve at least 85 percent of his prison sentence before he may be considered for parole eligibility.

  In addition, Rutter was sentenced to 18 months in NJSP as a result of his guilty plea to Stalking. The sentences will run concurrently. 

  A Permanent Stalking Restraining Order was also executed barring Rutter from having any contact with the victim.

  Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledged the efforts of Senior Assistant Prosecutor Meghan O’Neill and Assistant Prosecutor Kaitlyn Burke who handled the case on behalf of the State, as well as the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Regional SWAT Team, New Jersey State Police, New Jersey State Park Police, United States Marshals Service, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, and Tuckerton Police Department.