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East Orange Man Convicted of Aggravated Manslaughter Loses Appeal

East Orange

An East Orange man, convicted of beating a neighbor to death with a ‘Club’ over an alleged $100 pot sale gone wrong, had his appeal upheld this week by a state appellate panel.

On March 17, 2007, Samuel Alexander (then 19) invited 27-year-old Monte Rollins into his North Grove Street home, according to court documents.

Alexander and Rollins then went to the garage where a dispute among the men escalated to a fist fight allegedly over a marijuana sale gone wrong.

Alexander then picked up a ‘Club’ (a steering wheel locking device) and struck Rollins in the head 14 times, according to court documents.

Alexander later confessed killing Rollins over the $100 debt, court documents state.

This week, a state appellate rejected Alexander's claim of receiving ineffective assistance from his trial attorney because he had not provide him with copies of the evidence collected against him and, as a result, "he was 'unable to assess the propriety of accepting the State's plea bargain," the decision states.

The panel however, took into consideration that much of the evidence presented came from Alexander's confession and the testimony of his brothers and never denied discussing with the council the strength of the State's case, regardless if he received a physically copy of the discovery.

Alexander is currently serving a 22 year state prison sentence and will not become eligible for parole until November 2025.