OCEAN COUNTY – The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office secured a guilty plea in connection to a drowning death at a Point Pleasant Beach motel in July 2017.
Jelani Webster, 19, of Trenton, pled guilty to manslaughter charges in the drowning death of Aniijyah Price, 23, of Newark.
Webster faces up to 10 years in prison. She’ll be sentenced June 29.
A grand jury returned a murder indictment back in October, but Webster’s defense team filed a motion to dismiss the indictment, which the court approved in April. The State and Webster’s defense team negotiated the manslaughter charge while the case was being prepped for another grand jury.
Webster, Price and Kyle Thompson were in Point Pleasant Beach July 10, 2017. The group rented a room at the Beach Amethyst Motel. They had been consuming alcohol throughout the night.
Early the next morning, a motel guest called 911 to report someone was in the pool, not breathing. The husband of the caller pulled Price from the pool.
Thompson said he didn’t know how Price got in the pool. He could not swim, and directed Price to knock on doors to get help. Thompson proceeded to climb down the pool ladder to reach Price but was unable to reach her.
Officials uncovered surveillance video which showed Webster pushing Price into the deep end of the pool. Webster knew Price was unable to swim.