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Man enters guilty plea for violent felonies

When a New Jersey resident is accused of a serious crime, the legal team tasked with his or her defense begins by assessing all of the facts and evidence held within the case. In some instances, the defense strategy is to use those facts and evidence to assert the individual's innocence, and the matter goes to trial. In other cases, the sheer volume of evidence against the accused suggests that the outcome of a trial is uncertain, or that conviction is likely. In those instances, individuals are often better served by pursuing a plea agreement in relation to accusations of multiple felonies.

An example is found in the recent plea deal accepted by a man accused of a series of horrific crimes. The 30-year-old man was arrested and charged in the death of a young woman he worked with. Police claim that the woman was sexually assaulted prior to being killed, and that her body was then set on fire in an attempt to cover up the crime.

After his defense team completed a careful review of the evidence in the case, a decision was made to accept a plea agreement. The man admitted guilt to the charges of murder, desecrating human remains, aggravated arson, theft and tampering with evidence. That resulted in the prosecution dropping the charges of aggravated sexual assault. He will serve a sentence of 30 years without parole, as opposed to the 126.5 year sentence that he could have been given if convicted in court.

Making the decision to accept a plea deal is never easy. That said, in this New Jersey case it may have been the best possible option for the man accused of multiple violent felonies. Each and every case is unique, and the decision whether or not to go to trial is made based on the particularities of the scenario at hand.

Source:, "Hillsborough man pleads guilty to murder of co-worker, setting her body on fire", Dave Hutchinson, Aug. 6, 2015