Long Branch Men Plead Guilty to Attempted Murder, Illegal Handgun Possession & Aggravated Assault For 2017 Shooting

Long Branch NJ Unlawful Possession of a Handgun Lawyer

Two Long Branch men entered guilty pleas this week in connection with a Monmouth County shooting. Rayshawn Jones, 27, and Michael Seward, admitted to attempted murder and weapons charges stemming from an incident in West Long Branch wherein they discharged handguns in the direction of an SUV containing their intended target. The occupants of the SUV survived after being treated as Monmouth Medical Center.

Jones and Seward were later arrested by members of the Long Branched Police department. They were charged with an assortment of very serious criminal offenses. They pled guilty at the Monmouth County Superior Court in Freehold this weekk to first degree attempted murder, aggravated assault and unlawful possession of a handgun. During his plea, Jones said he was a member of the Bloods street gang. Both defendants are facing life in prison.

While this case is clearly an attempted murder, let’s take a look at why it would also be a crime of aggravated assault in New Jersey.

The Offense of Aggravated Assault in Monmouth County

New Jersey statute N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b) defines the offense of Aggravated Assault. Rather than provide a definition of a criminal offense, the statute has 10 general situations in which a person can be guilty of aggravated assault in New Jersey. All of these scenarios constitute aggravate assault:

  • Serious bodily injury – Attempts to cause serious bodily injury to another, or causes such injury purposely or knowingly, or under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life recklessly causes such injury; or
  • Bodily injury with a deadly weapon – Attempts to cause or purposely or knowingly causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon; or recklessly causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon; or
  • Pointing a firearm – Knowingly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life points a firearm at or in the direction of another, or displays a firearm at a police officer, whether or not the actor believes it to be loaded; or
  • Pointing an imitation firearm – Knowingly points, displays or uses an imitation firearm in the direction of a law enforcement officer with the purpose to intimidate, threaten or attempt to put the officer in fear of bodily injury or for any unlawful purpose; or
  • Simple assault on police or other state worker – Commits a simple assault on any law enforcement officer, fireman, emergency medical service provider, or most other state employees acting in the performance of their duties; or
  • Bodily injury while fleeing police – Causes bodily injury to another person while fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer or while operating a stolen motor vehicle; or
  • Significant bodily injury – Attempts to cause significant bodily injury to another or causes significant bodily injury purposely or knowingly or, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life recklessly causes such significant bodily injury; or
  • Setting a fire or explosion – Causes bodily injury by knowingly or purposely starting a fire or causing an explosion; or
  • Laser used against law enforcement – Uses or activates a laser sighting system or device against a law enforcement officer; or
  • Domestic violence matters – Attempts to cause significant bodily injury or causes significant bodily injury purposely or knowingly to a victim of domestic violence, or recklessly causes significant bodily injury to a victim of domestic violence.

To understand the statute, it is important to understand the difference between bodily injury, significant bodily injury, and serious bodily injury.

  • Bodily injury is physical pain, sickness, or any harm to someone’s physical condition.
  • Significant bodily injury is injury that creates a temporary loss of the function of any bodily member or organ, or temporary loss of one of the five senses.
  • Serious bodily injury is injury that creates a substantial risk of death or causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or harm to bodily functions.

Penalties for Aggravated Assault

  • Second-degree Aggravated Assault. If you violate numbers 1 or 6 above, the penalty could be 5 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000. (Number 8 is also a second-degree crime if there is significant or serious bodily injury).
  • Third-degree Aggravated Assault. If you violate numbers 2 (reckless conduct is 4th degree), 4, 7, 8, 9, or 10, the penalty could be 3 to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
  • Fourth-degree Aggravated Assault. If you violate numbers 3 (except pointing at police is 3rd degree), or 5 (except if there is bodily injury it is 3rd degree), the penalty could be up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

The Marshall Firm Can Defend You Against Aggravated Assault and Other Violent Crime Charges

When you are facing charges of serious, violent crimes in the State of New Jersey, such as aggravated assault, you need a criminal defense lawyer who has handled the big cases and who has a proven track record of success when the stakes are incredibly high. Look no farther than The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall. Our attorneys has over a century of combined experience defending handgun charges, aggravated assault and other high exposure offenses in Freehold at the Superior Court. We also happen to employ several former prosecutors, including an attorney who is a former Gangs Guns & Drugs Task Forece Director. If you would like to one of our lawyers in a free initial consultation, contact our Freehold Office at 732-462-1197. An attorney is ready to take your call around the clock.

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