Photos of slain Red Bank teacher Jonelle Melton, as displayed at a prosecutor’s press conference in November. Below, a state Department of Corrections photo of suspect Jerry J. Spraulding. (Photo above by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
A fourth suspect in the 2009 killing of a Red Bank Middle School teacher has been charged, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said Friday.
Like the the three men charged in November, the latest suspect, Jerry J. Spraulding, 38, of Keansburg, was already in custody, Gramiccioni said in a prepared statement.
Family 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)
Family 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.
Middle School Principal Maria Iozzi, left, and teachers Wendy Turnock and Mary Wynan speak with former Superintendent Laura Morana, back to camera, following the prosecutor’s announcement Thursday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
Three Asbury Park men have been indicted in the “heinous” murder of Jonelle Melton, a Red Bank Middle School teacher they killed after breaking into her Neptune apartment six years ago, Acting Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said Thursday.
The three, who were already in custody on unrelated charges when they were indicted Wednesday, are alleged to have broken into Melton’s apartment by mistake after planning to burglarize another one in the Brighton Arms apartment complex, Gramiccioni said at a press conference in Freehold Thursday morning.
The news brought relief to school administrators and teachers who knew Melton.
A poster displayed at the middle school during a February, 2010 memorial event for murdered teacher Jonelle Melton. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
The Monmouth County Prosecutor says his office is “closing in on” the killer of Jonelle Melton, a Red Bank Middle School teacher murdered in her Neptune apartment almost six years ago.
In an unusual move, Acting Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said in a statement released Monday afternoon that his office has “recently developed new leads that make us confident that those responsible for this senseless crime will be brought to justice,” and appealed to the public for help.
A vigil on the one-year anniversary of Jonelle Melton’s murder attracted about 80 students, teachers and parents to Riverside Gardens Park ank Tuesday night. A memorial walk is planned for Saturday. (Photos by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)
Friends and colleagues of slain Red Bank Middle School teacher Jonelle Melton plan a memorial fundraising walk at the school Saturday.
An opening ceremony is scheduled for 9:30a with music, a butterfly release and a dedication of a small butterfly garden. A walk around Red Bank will follow. The rain date for the walk is Sunday.
Toni Graham, a teacher at Red Bank Middle School, comforts student Kadajyah Smith as she chokes up during a reading for Jonelle Melton, who was killed in September. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)
By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
Just walking into the Red Bank Middle School auditorium Friday night, you could learn a lot about Jonelle Melton. She had a great big smile, loved butterflies, her favorite color was purple and, perhaps above all else, she touched a lot of lives.
And this you could figure out before anybody said a word.
As students, teachers, friends and family entered the middle school for a memorial to Melton, who was killed in September, they were greeted by a placard with butterflies bordering a picture of Melton the same picture that was screened onto T-shirts that teachers and students inside the auditorium wore.
Those who didn’t wear the shirts chose to wear a purple band, Melton’s favorite color, on their left sleeve.
A little more than a month after his estranged wife and co-worker Jonelle Melton was found murdered in her Neptune City apartment, Red Bank Middle School teacher Michael Melton has given the Asbury Park Press an interview in which he confronts a rumor that he is a suspect.
“I’m not capable of anything like that. I loved her to death,” Melton told the Press. “There’s no way I was ever involved in anything like that, but until they say otherwise, people are always going to wonder,” he said.
Both Meltons worked as teachers at the middle school. He’s on leave and scheduled to return to work December 1, but “he worries what the reaction from colleagues and students will be when he returns to his fourth-grade classroom,” the Press reports.
A 33-year-old Red Bank Middle School social studies teacher was found dead in her Neptune City apartment this morning, and investigators are treating the matter as suspicious, the Asbury Park Press reports.
The newspaper says little information about the death of Jonelle E. Melton has been released by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office, pending the completion of an autopsy.