The convicted gunman in a 1987 Rumson murder failed to demonstrate that alleged prosecutorial errors led to an unfair trial, a judge ruled Friday, according to a report on NJ.com.
The decision, by Superior Court Judge Diane Pincus in Middlesex County, means that Albert Erle Kershaw, who was 24 years old in 1989 when he was sentenced to life in prison for the execution-style murder of his boss in Rumson two years earlier, isn’t entitled to the retrial he was seeking.
The victim, 50-year-old Earl Monroe Shoemaker, was gunned down in the driveway of his home on North Ward Avenue in Rumson on December 15, 1987. Shoemaker was shot seven times, once in the head, with a .357 Magnum, authorities said.
Authorities attributed the killing to the result of a power play for control of an asbestos-removal company Shoemaker headed.
In a 46-page decision issued Friday, Pincus rejected Kershaw’s argument that misconduct by members of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office led to his conviction for Shoemaker’s murder and a plea deal for the state’s key witness, J. Keith Oliveri, who Kershaw, now 50, has maintained during and after the trial, was the actual killer.
“Defendant has attempted to raise a myriad of errors that occurred at the trial level, but has been unable to substantiate any of them,” the judge said, adding that the defendant failed to demonstrate that he was denied his right to a fair trial.
In denying the motion, Pincus said she saw no reason to overturn the decision by now-retired Superior Court Judge Paul Chaiet that Kershaw was not entitled to a post- conviction relief hearing.
The case was transferred to Middlesex County after Kershaw’s alleged that Chaiet should not have heard his request for a new hearing because the judge was the Monmouth County First Assistant Prosecutor during the investigation into Shoemaker’s murder.
Kershaw lost his previous appeals and was denied a hearing on his first application for post-conviction relief more than a decade ago.
Pincus said in her decision that Chaiet properly heard the motion in 2007 because Chaiet didn’t prosecute the murder himself, and the judge retired from the prosecutor’s office before Kershaw was arrested.
Kershaw’s attorney, Charles Moriarty of Red Bank, said his client is “very disappointed” by the judge’s decision and plans to appeal.