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Guilty plea forms criminal defense approach

A New Jersey man with an extensive criminal history recently entered a guilty plea, having only recently been released from prison. The criminal defense strategy may have been based on the desire to avoid another trial, and to forestall the media attention that the case has garnered. Having already spent a considerable amount of time moving through the legal justice system, the Paulsboro man, who is a husband and father, may have simply wanted to move past the allegations.

The man served four months in Bayside Prison after being accused of paying two individuals to set fire to a neighbor's vehicle. The fire led to an explosion, although no one was injured in the incident. As that trial approached, the man was also accused of threatening witnesses who were expected to testify against him. He pled guilty to criminal mischief in that case.

While that matter was moving through the court, the man and his wife faced charges of bias intimidation. This came after they placed a sign on their lawn that could be interpreted as an act of harassment toward an autistic child who lived nearby. Those charges were dismissed as part of the plea package in the criminal mischief case.

In the recent matter, the man was accused of sending threatening email to a reporter who covered the other cases. The email messages allegedly stated that the man was aware of the reporter's address and what type of vehicle he drove, and suggested that a friend of the man might visit the reporter's home. Harassment charges soon followed.

In deciding to enter a guilty plea as his criminal defense strategy, the New Jersey man was able to avoid going to trial in the matter. He received a fine of $256 in addition to court costs, and was then able to put the matter behind him. Having recently been through multiple rounds of criminal charges, the man may turn his attention toward his family and the multiple business ventures he and his wife are involved with, and avoid any further interaction with the courts.

Source:, "N.J. man accused of threatening reporter pleads guilty to disorderly persons charge", Andy Polhamus, April 20, 2015