Category Archives: Blog

Woman Dies In Hudson County Jail While Serving 6 Month DWI Sentence

KEARNY – According to officials, 48-year-old Jennifer Towle died at the Hudson County Jail at about 2 a.m. on Friday while serving a 180-day DWI sentence.

Details of her death were announced by the Hudson County spokesman, Jim Kennelly, who said that Towle died at the jail’s infirmary. He further said that Towle was serving a six-month sentence for a DWI charge out of Weehawken Municipal Court.

According to sources, Towle was near the end of her sentence at the time of her death. Later on, an autopsy released that she had a head injury and pieces of plastic in her stomach.

The county jail has already been facing scrutiny for the quality of medical services it provides to its inmates and Towle’s death adds to it. Just last month, an immigrant detainee also died at the county jail as a result of “gastrointestinal bleeding.”

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18-Year-Old Teenager Charged With Drunken Driving In Wrong-Way Crash On Route 23

PEQUANNOCK – 18-year-old Rachel M. Narine, of Edison, is facing multiple charges after she was involved in a wrong-way head-on crash on Route 23 north, just before the Newark Pompton Turnpike intersection, while driving intoxicated.

According to the police, Narine was charged with driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, assault by auto, and underage driving while intoxicated. She also violated the provisional license driving hours and was driving the wrong way on a highway. The incident took place on Memorial Day, Monday 29 May, at 3:05 am.

Based on the investigation, police determined that Narine was driving the wrong way in the northbound lanes when she hit an oncoming vehicle head-on. The driver of the vehicle involved in the crash was complaining of leg pain and was taken to Chilton Medical Center for treatment.

When police arrived, they observed signs of intoxication from Narine. She was also taken to the hospital as a precaution.

Narine was charged with the above listed charges and was later released pending a court appearance.

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50-Year-Old New Jersey Man With 6 Dwis Accused Of Hitting Pedestrian While Driving Drunk

50-year-old Larry D. Wooten, of Newark, was accused of hitting a pedestrian while driving under the influence of alcohol in New York.

Wooten, who has a history of driving under the influence, was arrested for allegedly being drunk as he drove into a 46-year-old woman who was crossing a street in Long Beach on Long Island. The incident took place just before 1 a.m. on Monday. The victim suffered minor injuries in the incident.

His past record shows that Wooten has six previous drunken driving convictions. According to his record, his license has been suspended or revoked eight times in the past.

Wooten was charged with drunk driving six times in the past and has six convictions on his record. His driver’s license has been suspended or revoked eight times.

In Long Island, Wooten faced multiple charges including driving while intoxicated with previous convictions, unlicensed operation and driving without an interlock device.

A call made to Long Beach police seeking additional information on the incident was not immediately returned.

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Franklin Park Man Accused Of Driving A Backhoe While Drinking Beer Faces 9th DWI Charge

SOUTH BRUNSWICK – A 56-year-old Franklin Park man named William Campbell was arrested for driving a backhoe drunk in South Brunswick Wednesday evening.

According to police reports, this was Campbell’s 9th DWI charge. He was allegedly driving a backhoe erratically through the township while drinking a beer.

According to Capt. James Ryan, Campbell was arrested Wednesday evening following an accident on Promenade Boulevard where he flipped his pick-up truck.

South Brunswick officers found Campbell five blocks away from the scene of the accident just after 6 p.m.

Police received multiple calls from residents about a bulldozer that was driving erratically in the area. Ryan stated that Campbell had allegedly parked the tractor and then started driving his pick-up truck.

Campbell was taken to a nearby hospital in Princeton for treatment of minor injuries. Luckily, no other vehicles were involved in the accident.

Campbell was charged Friday with driving while intoxicated, leaving the scene of an accident and driving with a suspended license. Earlier in December, Campbell was arrested on similar charges after he was pulled over by the police when he was driving a backhoe in town. According to police reports, Campbell was “swerving all over the road” and drinking a beer.

Authorities also stated that Campbell didn’t have a valid driver’s license at the time. He faced multiple charges including driving while intoxicated along with several other violations. That case is still pending.

According to authorities, Campbell has seven DWI convictions on his record dating back to 1980.

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Cop Charged With Drunk Driving Previously Suspended After Off-Duty Crash

MILLVILLE– Authorities told that Dept. Michael McLaughlin, who was previously accused of DWI, is under investigation as he got involved in an off-duty car accident on the weekend.

He is suspended while the department is waiting for the investigation outcome. Millville Police Department and Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office collaborated for the investigation of the case.

The accident happened at about 11 p.m. on Friday, when the detective was travelling in the area of West Main Street and Lisa Marie Terrace.

It is not confirmed whether anyone sustained injury in the accident or if there was any passenger in the vehicle.

On 3rd of September 2014, he was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. He pleaded guilty to reckless driving.

McLaughlin has been working with the Millville Police Department since the past 5 years. He was travelling with another officer on Carmel Road when his vehicle got out of control as he was behind the wheel and crashed into St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church.

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Prosecutors Try For More Prison Time For Actress In Fatal DWI In Second Appeal

SOMERVILLE – According to court documents, the Prosecution has asked in its second appeal to the Appellate Division that a different judge be assigned to the case of former “Melrose Place” actress, Amy Locane, to revisit the sentencing.

Matthew Murphy, Assistant Prosecutor at Somerset County, claimed in the latest appeal that Superior Court Judge Robert B. Reed was twice too lenient in sentencing Locane in the June 2010 drunk-driving crash that killed Helene Seeman. The latest appeal stated that Reed sentenced Locane “illegally” and “abused his discretion.” The Prosecutor also charged that he wants the sentence “revised and remanded.”

44-year-old Locane was paroled in June 2015 after serving two and a half years in prison for her conviction. She was facing vehicular homicide and assault by auto charges.

Locane’s conviction was downgraded from a second degree offense to a third degree offense at her first sentencing by Reed. This gave her 3 years on both offenses which were to run concurrently. Even though Reed said in September that she should have been required to serve all three years before being paroled, he recanted his statement during the sentencing in January. He also stated that he sentenced Locane in accordance with the law at that time. The law has changed on the state and federal level since then, stated Reed.

The Assistant Prosecutor has been seeking a 7 year prison term for Reed with 85 percent of the term to be served before being eligible for parole. He was also seeking an additional nine-month term for assault by auto.

The decision taken by Reed in January’s hearing again angered the family of the victim as well as the prosecution who immediately vowed to file an appeal. The husband of the victim, Fred Seeman, said following the January hearing, “The judge bent over backwards to let her walk free.”

A civil case between Locane and the Seeman family is still pending.

The spokesman for the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, Capt. Jack Bennett, said that his office had no comment on the latest appeal. On the other hand, Reed cited that the actress’ incarceration would have a strong impact on her two young children, which was the reason for handing down a lesser sentence in the first place.

Reed was asked by the Appellate Division in July 2016 to explain the reason behind considering a lighter sentence following the prosecutor’s initial appeal. The Appellate Division said that Reed’s sentence lacked enough explanation and was inappropriate.

In the hearing held on 13 January, Reed defended his sentence saying that Locane’s post-conviction conduct has been exemplary and that there was no need to have her return to prison. Reed also stated that Locane did not pose any danger to the society and that there was no threat that she would repeat the offense.

In a recent speech given at William Paterson University, Locane shared her story with others as a cautionary tale.

A new hearing date before the Appellate Division has yet to be scheduled.

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Drunk Driver Gets 5 Years In Fatal Woodbridge Wrong-Way Crash

NEW BRUNSWICK – 29-year-old Andrew Frazell of Newton was sentenced Friday to serve 5 years in prison.

According to a statement by the Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey, Frazell was driving under the influence of alcohol when he struck another vehicle, resulting in the death of both occupants. The incident took place on 10 July, 2014 when he drove his Jeep Liberty the wrong way onto an exit ramp along the Garden State Parkway.

He then crashed into a Honda Accord, killing 42-year-old Deron McGuire who was driving the Accord. 36-year-old Lucian Roberson of Hackensack, a passenger in the Accord was also killed in the accident.

Frazell’s blood alcohol content was found to be 0.162 after the incident, well above the legal limit of 0.08% for driving.

Frazell is required to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole. Once he is released from prison, his driver’s license will also be suspended for five years.

Frazell pleaded guilty to two counts of vehicular homicide in September.


Montvale Police Officer Reportedly Pleads Guilty To Drunken Driving

PEQUANNOCK – According to a police report, Herminio Amado, a Montvale police officer, admitted to being drunk when he was found asleep behind the wheel of his luxury car last year in Morris County.

Amado’s driver’s license was suspended for seven months. However, his lawyer appealed a pretrial ruling which permitted an alcohol influence report to be entered as evidence, allowing him to continue driving. That appeal remains pending.

Amado was found dozing in a black BMW on the side of Route 23 south in June by Pequannock police. The prosecutor said that his blood alcohol content was recorded at 0.18 percent, which is more than twice the legal limit.

Adado pleaded guilty to drunken driving on Monday, despite the fact that his attorney had previously said that too little time had elapsed between the breath tests which were given to his client.

Amado has been a cop since 2012. He is the president of the Montvale chapter of the Policeman’s Benevolent Association. Police records show that he made $88,172 last year.

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New Jersey Courts Still Collecting DWI Fee Even After Law Was Overturned

TRENTON – Earlier this year, NJ courts overturned a state law that required towns to use a $25 DWI fine to pay for installing video recording devices in police cars. However, municipal court judges across New Jersey continued to collect the fee as it appeared they didn’t get the memo.

Thousands of drivers convicted of drunk driving are still being fined the $25 special surcharge every month. The DWI fine was tied to the now-defunct law.

The announcement was made by the state Council on Local Mandates which invalidated the surcharge. However, the state appears to be ignoring the mandate, resulting in officials collecting more than a million dollars in money. The collected funds are not being used for their intended purpose.

Assistant Deputy Attorney General Stephan Finkel stated that the police video portion of the law has been ruled as an unfunded mandate. “The surcharge provision, which was a different part of the law intending to fund the purchase of the mobile video recorders, that was not declared to be an unfunded mandate, so it remains on the books and is still being enforced, and it’s providing revenue that municipalities can used to purchase video recorders, even though they’re not mandated to do that anymore,” he said.

However, that is not what the council’s decision says which was taken on 20 April. The Council declared the law as unconstitutional in the six-page decision. The Council’s decision renders the $25 surcharge described as nugatory.


39-Year-Old Bayonne Mother Drives While Drunk With 5-Year-Old Son In Backseat

BAYONNE – 39-year-old Jennifer Ciaglia of West 30th Street has been accused of driving while drunk. According to police reports, the city woman was driving with her 5-year-old son in the backseat. She also damaged two cars.

The incident took place around 5:53 p.m. on Monday when Ciaglia crashed her green Jeep into a parked, unoccupied Toyota pickup truck at 31st Street and Avenue C.

Ciaglia then fled the scene by driving west on 31st Street. However, she stopped after she collided with a Chevy pickup truck waiting at the light at Kennedy Boulevard.

Luckily, Ciaglia’s 5-year-old son was secured in the rear of her vehicle in a child restraint seat. He was not injured in the accident.

The driver of the Chevy truck also did not sustain any injuries. However, both vehicles involved in the accident that Ciaglia struck sustained minor rear end damage. Ciaglia’s Jeep was badly damaged and was rendered “inoperable.”

Ciaglia suffered minor injuries and was taken to Bayonne Medical Center. Her Jeep was impounded by the police.

Ciaglia was arrested on multiple charges, including driving while intoxicated and endangering the welfare of a child. She was also issued “numerous summonses,” including DWI in a school zone, leaving the scene of an accident, careless driving, and expired vehicle registration. She was later released on summonses.