FREEHOLD, NJ - A Monmouth County jury has convicted a Long Branch man of the 2015 murder of a 40-year-old city woman, announced Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

Christopher Aparicio-Reyes, 23, was convicted this afternoon of first degree Murder for the strangulation murder of Jennifer Pizzuto on Dec. 13, 2015. The verdict was delivered after a 4-day trial in the courtroom of Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Joseph Oxley.

Evidence presented at trial revealed that Aparicio-Reyes strangled Pizzuto after brutally beating her about her face and head in his room on Rockwell Avenue in Long Branch. After attempting to hide her body in another room, Aparicio-Reyes then left the house and hid at a friend’s apartment until officers from the Long Branch Police and Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office found him the next morning.

Aparicio-Reyes is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Oxley on May 8, 2018. He 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" (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.

The case was prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutors Christopher Matthews and Joseph Competello.

Aparicio-Reyes is represented by Michael Wicke and Joshua Hood, of Freehold.