TOMS RIVER – An armed robbery defendant was found guilty on numerous charges in late October.
Toms River resident Michael Allan Guerino, 53, was found guilty of first degree armed robbery, third degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, third degree aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, fourth degree unlawful possession of a weapon, and fourth degree theft on Oct. 25 before Superior Court judge Therese A. Cunningham, J.S.C.
Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 15. Guerino, who has more than 30 prior convictions, may face a life term, which the State is seeking.
On Jan. 29, 2016, Guerino entered the Dollar Tree on Hooper Avenue at about 9:40 p.m, clothed in a hooded sweatshirt and gloves. The prosecutor’s office said he approached the 24-year-old female cashier, pretending that he would purchase a candy bar, but instead walked behind the counter and drew a knife, pressing it into the cashier’s back. Guerino demanded she open the register and “threatened to “stick” her if she tried to call for help. When the cashier was unable to open the register, Guerino ripped the cash drawer from the register. He fled with $234.96 and the cash register drawer.
After investigating, the Toms River Police executed a search of 48 Gower Court, where Guerino lived. Police found the clothing worn by Guerino the night of the robbery. He was identified by the cashier as well.
The jury of nine women and three men only took three hours to indict Guerino on all five counts.
Ocean County Senior Assistant Prosecutor Michael Abatemarco prosecuted this case. Toms River Police Detectives Steven Bucci, Patrick Jacques and Louis Santora all testified at the trial. Toms River Police officers Matthew Broderick and Anthony Claps, along with Ocean County Sheriff’s Officer Ralph Laudicina, also testified.