FREEHOLD – A Monmouth County grand jury returned a 4-count indictment today charging a Neptune Township man with a 2016 shooting death at a local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

Calvin Johnson, 40, 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 a shooting that occurred on April 18, 2016, in the parking lot of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post (VFW), 1515 Corlies Ave. in Neptune.

Neptune Township police officers were on patrol on April 18, 2016, around 8 p.m., when they heard the sound of gunshots coming from the area of the VFW.  Upon their arrival, officers noted a large crowd in the parking lot of the VFW and discovered the victim, Corey Basden, 33, of Neptune City, lying in the rear parking lot.  Basden suffered from multiple gunshot wounds and was deceased.  MONOC paramedics responded to the scene, and Basden was subsequently pronounced deceased at 8:15 p.m. 

An approximately 18-month joint investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and Neptune Township Police Department identified Johnson, a/k/a “Little C,” as the person who shot Basden.

Despite Johnson’s arrest, the investigation into the shooting continues, as investigators believe that other witnesses may exist who have not yet come forward that 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.

Johnson was charged by the Neptune Township Police Department on Oct. 31, 2017, while he was already lodged at Northern State Prison in Newark on other charges and he remains detained in that facility.

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.

The case is assigned to Assistant Prosecutor Matthew Bogner, of the Office’s Major Crimes Bureau, Asbury Park Satellite Office.

Monmouth County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of criminals and fugitives. Citizens with information about a crime or fugitive may contact Monmouth County Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-671-4400, which is a confidential telephone tip-line; they can text "MONMOUTH” plus their tip to 274637; or, they can email a tip via the website at www.monmouthcountycrimestoppers.com

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.