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Man Charged with Beating Woman to Death in Manville Driveway


Somerset County Prosecutor John P. McDonald and Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor announced the arrest of Samuel C. Coggins, 30, Flemington, for the criminal homicide death of Augustine Garcia, 50, Manville.

Prosecutor McDonald stated that on Thursday, July 14, at approximately 2:56 p.m. Manville Police responded to a 9-1-1 call reporting an assault outside a residence on North 12th Avenue, Manville.  

Manville Officers were advised by Somerset County Communications Center while responding to the residence of an unconscious male. Responding Manville Officers, upon arrival, encountered an unresponsive male suffering from a severe head injury and initiated life-saving measures along with emergency medical personnel.  

The victim, who was identified as Augustine Garcia, was transported to an area hospital, where he was subsequently pronounced deceased.

Prosecutor McDonald stated that the 9-1-1 caller, identified as Samuel C. Coggins, who remained at the scene, was the individual involved in the physical assault of Mr. Garcia.

Mr. Coggins was transported to the Manville Police Department as a result of the preliminary investigation.   Detectives from the Manville Police Department, along with detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit and the Crime Scene Investigations Unit, responded to the scene to conduct the investigation.  

The investigation revealed that Coggins was at the residence to assist Garcia and an unnamed resident with moving from the residence. Subsequently, Coggins assaulted Garcia while outside in the driveway of the residence, causing injuries that led to the death of Mr. Garcia.  

The investigation is ongoing. A post-mortem examination will be performed by the New Jersey Northern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the cause and manner of death.  

Prosecutor McDonald stated that Samuel C. Coggins was charged with first-degree Murder. Defendant Coggins was lodged in the Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing.