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Guilty Verdict Reached in Franklin Township Murder

Franklin Township (Somerset)

Acting Somerset County officials reported a guilty verdict in charges contained in the indictment of Tayyab A. Ware, 31, of Augusta, GA in relation to the shooting death of Denny Sanchez, 34, of Franklin Township. 

Co-defendant Todd Smith, 32, of Edison, previously plead guilty on January 7, to charges of 1st-degree Robbery in relation to the shooting death of Denny Sanchez and is scheduled to be sentenced on March 8.

Acting Prosecutor Chirichella stated the matter was tried in Superior Court before the Honorable Peter J. Tober, P.J.Cr. by Assistant Prosecutors William Guhl and Ryan Quinones.  

On February 15, the jury found defendant Ware guilty of all charges contained in the Indictment which included, 1st-degree Murder, 1st-degree Felony Murder, 1st-degree Armed Robbery, 2nd-degree Conspiracy to Commit Robbery, 2nd-degree Possession of a Weapon for Unlawful Purpose, and 2nd-degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon in connection with the homicide of Denny Sanchez.  

The facts at trial proved that on Monday, November 2, 2020, at approximately 8:41 p.m., Franklin Township Police responded to numerous 9-1-1 calls reporting a shooting victim inside the backroom of a Barbershop located on Hamilton Street, Somerset section of Franklin Township, where a dice game had taken place.  

Responding officers located a male victim, subsequently identified as Denny Sanchez, suffering from a gunshot wound inside of the establishment. 

Franklin Township Police Officers immediately began to administer lifesaving measures along with responding emergency medical personnel.  

Mr. Sanchez was transported to an area trauma center where he was pronounced deceased.

Acting Prosecutor Chirichella stated detectives from the Franklin Township Police Department, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, and the Crime Scene Investigations Unit responded to conduct the investigation.  

An autopsy performed by the Northern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Sanchez’s death a homicide.

The initial investigation determined that two men entered the shop, one armed with a gun, and told everyone to get down stating, “You know what time it is.” 

Money was taken from the room before Mr. Sanchez was fatally shot.

A two-month investigation into this homicide was conducted by the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit and the Franklin Township Police Department. 

As part of this investigation, numerous interviews were conducted as well as a follow-up investigation.

As a result of this investigation, on December 22, 2020, defendant Smith was arrested and charged. 

On December 30, 2020, Defendant Ware was apprehended without incident in Augusta, GA by members of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office’s and the Federal Bureau of Investigations Atlanta Field Office and subsequently extradited back to New Jersey by Somerset County authorities.  

Mr. Ware is scheduled to be sentenced on April 18, 2022.

He was remanded to the Somerset County Jail following the verdict.