FREEHOLD – A Keansburg man was arrested and charged overnight for the murder of a Keyport man yesterday afternoon, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
John Curtin, 19, of Woodland Avenue in Keansburg, is charged with first degree Murder, first degree Felony Murder, first degree Robbery, second degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, and second degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose. Curtin is charged with shooting and killing of 20-year-old Evan Smutz inside his Center Street apartment in Keyport.
Curtin is scheduled for his first appearance at 1:30 p.m. this afternoon in the courtroom of Monmouth County Superior Court Judge David F. Bauman, P.J. Cr.
“It was hard work and determination by detectives in our Office and at the Keyport Police Department who quickly solved this murder and brought Mr. Curtin to justice for this crime,” Gramiccioni said. “This is a great credit to all of law enforcement and the community.”
Keyport police responded to a 911 call reporting the shooting at 12:48 p.m. at 2 Center Street. Police arrived to find Smutz with a gunshot wound. He was pronounced deceased at 1:21 p.m.
A joint investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the Keyport Police department determined Curtin arrived at Smutz’s apartment, while inside an argument ensued that culminated with Curtin fatally shooting Smutz. Curtin fled the apartment after the shooting. Hours later Curtin surrendered to the New York City Police Department and subsequently transported back to Monmouth County.
Anyone with additional information about this case is urged to call Detective Ryan Mahony of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 1-800-533-7443 or Detective Sergeant Joe Redina of the Keyport Police Department at 732-264-0706.
If convicted of Murder or Felony Murder, Curtin 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.
If convicted of Robbery, Curtin faces a sentence of up to 20 years in a state prison.
If convicted of the second degree weapons offenses, Curtin faces a sentence of five to ten years in prison, 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.
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 Michael Luciano.