FREEHOLD – A Neptune Township man is facing a charge of first degree Murder for his role in the fatal April 2016 shooting at a township Veterans of Foreign Wars post following a funeral repast, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
Calvin Johnson, 40, of Neptune Township, is charged with first degree Murder, second degree Possession of a Firearm for an Unlawful Purpose, first degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, and second degree Certain Persons Not to Possess Weapons.
The charges stem from an April 18, 2016 shooting that occurred in the parking lot of the VFW located at 1515 Corlies Avenue in Neptune Township.
At approximately 8 p.m., officers from the Neptune Township Police Department were on patrol when they heard the sound of gunshots coming from the area of the VFW Post. Upon their arrival, officers noted a large crowd and discovered the victim, Corey Basden, 33, of Neptune City, lying in the rear parking lot with multiple gunshot wounds. MONOC paramedics responded to the scene, and Basden was pronounced deceased at 8:15 p.m.
An 18-month-long joint investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the Neptune Township Police Department identified Johnson, a/k/a “Little C,” as Basden’s killer.
If convicted of Murder, Johnson faces a minimum sentence of 30 years in a New Jersey state prison without parole, and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment; subject to the provisions of the "No Early Release Act" requiring him to serve 85 percent of any sentence imposed in excess of 30 years before becoming eligible for release on parole. He would also be under parole supervision for five years if he gains release from state prison.
If convicted of Possession of a Firearm for an Unlawful Purpose, the maximum potential sentence is a State Prison term of 10 years, and pursuant to the “Graves Act” there is a mandatory period of parole ineligibility of one half of the custodial sentence imposed, or 42 months, whichever is greater. If convicted of Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, he faces up to 20 years in State Prison, which is also subject to the Graves Act mandatory period of parole ineligibility of one half of the custodial sentence imposed. If convicted of Certain Persons Not to Possess Weapons, he faces up to 10 years in state prison with a five-year mandatory period of parole ineligibility.
Johnson, who is currently lodged at Northern State Prison on unrelated charges, remains detained in that facility pending a First Appearance on Wednesday, November 1, 2017.
Despite Johnson’s arrest, the investigation into the shooting continues, as investigators believe other witnesses may exist who have not yet come forward but may have relevant information concerning the events leading up to the shooting as well as the shooting itself. The investigation is being led by Detective John Leibfried of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Bureau and Detective Eric Chunn of the Neptune Township Police Department. Anyone with additional information about this shooting is urged to call Detective Leibfried at 1-800-533-7443 or Detective Chunn at 732-988-8000.
Anyone who feels the need to remain anonymous but has information about a crime can contact Monmouth County Crime Stoppers confidential telephone tip-line by calling 1-800-671-4400; can text "MONMOUTH” plus their tip to 274637; or, they can email a tip via the website at www.monmouthcountycrimestoppers.com. Monmouth County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of criminals and fugitives.
The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor J. Matthew Bogner, of the Office’s Major Crimes Bureau, Asbury Park Satellite Office.
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.