FREEHOLD – A Long Branch man was convicted Friday for the shooting death of another city man last year, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
Jeffrey Williams, 30, was convicted by a jury Friday on charges of first degree Felony Murder, second degree Reckless Manslaughter, second degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose and second degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon following a four-week trial before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Vincent N. Falcetano. Williams was acquitted of a charge of first degree Armed Robbery.
Williams was arrested on July 20, 2017, and charged in connection with the death of 47-year-old Hector C. Mejia, who was found bleeding with a gunshot wound near the front door of his Liberty Street home. Long Branch Police Department responded to an 11:41 p.m. 911 call on July 16, 2017, the shooting. Police and medical personnel responded to the location and the victim was pronounced deceased at 11:56 p.m. A joint investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and Long Branch Police Department led to the arrest of Williams four days later.
At trial, testimony revealed that on Sunday night, July 16, 2017, Williams and several others were hanging out near the corner of Central Avenue and Liberty Street in Long Branch when they realized that there was an older Hispanic male asleep on the front porch of 111-2 Liberty Street. Armed with this information, defendant and at least 2 others approached the man. While one of the men was attempting to take property from the victim, the man awoke and reacted to their presence. In response, Jeffrey Williams pulled out a handgun and shot the man. Approximately 20 minutes later, the victim’s estranged wife came home to find her husband dead on the porch and called 911. She told police Hector Mejia had come over in order to drop off money for her and their kids.
Sentencing is scheduled for December 7, 2018 before Judge Falcetano. Williams faces up to 20 years in a New Jersey state prison on first degree Felony Murder and up to ten years on each of the second degree charges.
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The case was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Christopher J. Decker, Director of the Office’s Major Crimes Bureau and Assistant Prosecutor Nicole Wallace.
Williams was represented by Carlos Diaz-Cobo, Esq. of New Brunswick and James Greenberg, Esq. of Freehold.