RED BANK: TRIO GUILTY OF TEACHER’S MURDER

jonelle meltonRed Bank teacher Jonelle Melton was slain in her Netpune City apartment in 2009.

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAlmost a decade after the death of Red Bank Middle School teacher Jonelle Melton, three men were found guilty Tuesday of her vicious torture and murder.

A jury in Freehold found the trio guilty of all charges in the case, according to a Twitter announcement early Tuesday afternoon from the office of Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni.

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RED BANK: TAKING UP POLICE SHOOTINGS

Red Bank Lieutenant Juan Sardo and community members discussed policing during a breakout session Wednesday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Some two dozen Monmouth County cops and community members gathered in the basement of a Red Bank church Tuesday afternoon to tackle a hot topic: police-involved shootings.

Among the aims: understanding why such incidents are increasingly polarizing.

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RUMSON: BATCHLER RESIGNS AS RFH TEACHER

batchler 062716 7Former RFH head football coach Bryan Batchler, seen here working out with college players at Red Bank’s Count Basie Fields in June. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

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Ousted Rumson-Fair Haven Regional football coach Bryan Batchler has resigned as a teacher in a secret settlement with the school, redbankgreen has learned.

In a statement issued Thursday, the school’s board of education said it had accepted Batchler’s resignation on August 9.

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RUMSON: BATCHLER BACKERS DEMAND ACTION

batchler 071216Former R-FH head football coach Bryan Batchler at Tuesday’s board meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

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Five months after former Rumson-Fair Haven Regional football coach Bryan Batchler was cleared of criminal wrongdoing over alleged inappropriate contact with a student, several dozen supporters demanded Tuesday night that he be reinstated.

Batchler, who has been on paid administrative leave from teaching for eight months and was stripped of his coaching job in February, told redbankgreen that Superintendent Pete Righi is now trying to oust him, via a tenure-revocation case, from the job he’s held since 2008.  Read More »

RUMSON: BATCHLER WON’T BE PROSECUTED

batchler-610x343Former R-FH head football coach Bryan Batchler. (Photo courtesy of Shore Sports Zone. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

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Ousted Rumson-Fair Haven football coach Bryan Batchler has been cleared of criminal wrongdoing for what his attorney said were allegations of an inappropriate relationship with student.

“The evidence was insufficient to support criminal charges,”acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said in a prepared statement reported by the Asbury Park Press  Wednesday. “However, we referred the matter to the New Jersey Department of Education Investigations Unit for any administrative investigation or other action within their jurisdiction to conduct.”

“Essentially, Coach Batchler was falsely accused of criminal conduct and the prosecutor’s office didn’t even find that there was probable cause to believe that any criminal conduct was committed,” Batchler’s attorney, Mitch Ansell, said in a statement.

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RED BANK: SLAIN TEACHER & COPS HONORED

melton event 121815 1 melton event 121815 2Family members and friends from throughout Monmouth County gathered at Calvary Baptist Church in Red Bank Friday evening to remember slain borough teacher Jonelle Melton. Organizers also spotlighted law enforcement officials who investigated and recently charged  three men in the her 2009 slaying. Though the case is not yet closed, police and prosecutors deserved to be recognized for “keeping their word and doing something positive,” said co-organizer Linda Clark. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: REMEMBERING JONELLE MELTON

jonelle melton 111915 2Family members and friends from throughout the community will gather at Calvary Baptist Church Friday evening to remember slain Red Bank teacher Jonelle Melton.

It’s being framed by Calvary Baptist Church as “A Night to Remember” — an opportunity for both somber reflection and the season’s rejoicing, rooted in a community’s shared tragedy, but setting its sights on the star of peace and healing.

When Rev. Dr. Kenneth McGhee Jr. and the congregation of the River Street church open their doors to all members of the Red Bank community this Friday evening, the occasion will be a special pre-Christmas celebration of fellowship and Yuletide spirit — one that incorporates a tribute to Red Bank Middle School Jonelle Melton, and an expression of support for her family.

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EX INDICTED IN RED BANK WOMAN’S DEATH

By JOHN T. WARD

An Eatontown man was indicted Wednesday for the alleged murder of his ex-wife, a Red Bank woman whose body was found six weeks after she disappeared last spring, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office announced.

Oscar Prior-Ramirez, 32, was charged with one count of first-degree murder in connection with the death of Viridiana Beltran-Gomez, 26, who vanished after working her shift at Siena Grill on Shrewsbury Avenue last May 12.

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AUTOPSY: MURDER VICTIM WAS ASPHYXIATED

siena-grillViridiana Beltran-Gomez was last seen at her job at Siena Grill before her body was found last week. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A missing Red Bank mother whose body was discovered last week died by asphyxiation, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office said.

The results of 26-year-old Viridiana Beltran-Gomez‘s autopsy, conducted Sunday, were made available yesterday, four days after her body was discovered off the Garden State Parkway in Aberdeen, First Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said.

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PROSECUTOR: FIRE STARTED IN WASTEBASKET

house-fire-041911Tuesday morning’s blaze is believed to have been caused by a cigarette or match. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi. Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A poorly discarded cigarette or match is believed to have started a fire that killed three family members and a fourth person Tuesday morning, authorities said.

Sheridan Banovich, 63;  her daughter, Deidre, 23; Deidre’s boyfriend, Anthony Cadalzo, 25; and Banovich’s sister, Denise DuSold, 60, all died in the early-morning fire, Christopher Gramiccioni, of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, said.

The fifth person in the house and lone survivor of the blaze was identified as Stephen Banovich, 63, Sheridan Banovich’s husband.

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PROBE INTO DEADLY FIRE CONTINUES

135-statesir-2The scene at 135 Statesir Place Tuesday morning. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office continues to investigate the deadly fire that ripped through a Statesir Place home early this morning, First Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said.

The names of the four people who were killed in the blaze have not been released, pending notification of family members, he said.

“My people are out there doing their due diligence,” Gramiccioni said.

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RUMSON MAN ARRESTED FOR CHILD PORN

By DUSTIN RACIOPPIauthorities2b

A Rumson man was arrested Friday on charges of possessing and distributing child pornography, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office said Tuesday.

Matthew Marass, 23, of Forrest Avenue, was charged with two counts of child pornography — one count for possession, and another for distribution, First Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said.

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