FREEHOLD, NJ –   A Neptune man has been arrested and charged for a January 2017 attempted murder at the Pan American Motel in Eatontown, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

Marqwell Nichols, 27, of Neptune, was arrested and charged Tuesday evening in connection with the attempted shooting of the 26-year-old female victim.  Nichols is charged with one count of first degree Attempted Murder, one count of second degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, and one count of second degree Possession of a Weapon for Unlawful Purpose.

The Eatontown Police Department responded to the Pan American Motel on Route 35 for a report of shots fired, at approximately 8:35 p.m. on the night of January 30, 2017. The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, in conjunction with the Eatontown Police, launched an investigation into the shooting. Over the course of the next 10 months, detectives and officers from both agencies worked tirelessly to identify the person responsible, leading to this arrest.

Anyone with additional information regarding the attempted shooting should contact Detective Wayne Raynor of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at (800) 533-7443 or Detective Jason Cardamoni of the Eatontown Police Department at (732) 542-0100.

If convicted of Attempted Murder, Nichols faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in a New Jersey state prison, subject to the provisions of the "No Early Release Act" (NERA) requiring him to serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for release on parole. He would also be under parole supervision for five years following his release from state prison.

If convicted of Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful purpose, Nichols faces a sentence of five to ten years in prison. 

If convicted of Unlawful Possession of a Weapon and/or Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Nichols faces a maximum of ten years in state prison, which is subject to a mandatory minimum of 1/3 of the sentence imposed or 42 months, whichever is greater, without parole. 

 Nichols made his first appearance today.  His detention hearing is scheduled for December 4, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge David F. Bauman, P.J.Cr.

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.

The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Meghan J. Doyle.