FREEHOLD, NJ - A
George Harrington, 41, of
The indictment is the result of an investigation conducted by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Middletown Township Police Department and the New Jersey State Police Marine Services and Criminal Investigation bureaus.
The investigation began on July 23, 2011, after
Police conducted a large-scale search over the next several hours utilizing numerous vessels, helicopters and extensive manpower, but were unable to locate the missing vessel operator. The following morning, around 9 a.m., a local paddle boarder located the body of the missing boater in the
The joint investigation continued into the cause of the vessel collision with police determining Harrington was operating his vessel with four other occupants, while under the influence of alcohol, at a speed which was unsafe for the prevailing conditions when his vessel encountered and struck Plante’s vessel. Plante was traveling at a slow speed in his vessel, with his girlfriend as a passenger, when his vessel was struck and he was ejected into the river.
Harrington was issued summonses for operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol, refusal to submit to chemical breath testing, failure to maintain a proper lookout, reckless operation of a vessel and for operating a vessel without a boating safety certificate.
If convicted of Vehicular Homicide, Harrington faces a maximum sentence of ten years in New Jersey State Prison, subject to the provisions of the “No Early Release Act” (“NERA”). “NERA” requires that a defendant serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for parole.
After the return of the Indictment, the Honorable Francis J. Vernoia, P.J.Cr., set Harrington’s bail at $150,000, with ten percent. Harrington was processed on this charge and was released after posting bail.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutors John Loughrey and Christopher J. Decker. Harrington is represented by Joseph A. Hayden, Jr. and Christopher D.
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial in which the defendants have all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.