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NJ Grand Jury Declines to Charge Officer with Death of Resident Who Shot Himself


By: Najla Alexander 

NJ AG authorities announced that a state grand jury has voted not to file any criminal charges at the conclusion of its deliberations regarding the death of Joseph Bestic, Jr., 63, of Cherry Hill, who sustained a fatal injury during a law enforcement encounter on October 11, 2022.

AdAccording to officials, Mr. Bestic’s death was investigated by the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) and presented to New Jersey residents serving on the state grand jury in accordance with the Independent Prosecutor Directive of 2019 (the “Directive”).

In July 2021, officials stated that OPIA issued standard operating procedures (SOPs) to ensure these grand jury presentations are conducted in a neutral, objective manner, with appropriate transparency regarding the process, consistent with the Directive.

The investigation included witness interviews, photographs, a review of video footage, as well as autopsy results from the medical examiner, officials said.

Officials say this evidence, including video of the incident, was presented to a state grand jury.

After hearing the testimony and evidence, the grand jury concluded its deliberations on October 23 and voted “no bill,” meaning no criminal charges should be filed against Officer Jared Fox of the Cherry Hill Police Department, authorities say.

According to the investigation, on October 11, 2022, at approximately 2 p.m., Cherry Hill police responded to the 3000 block of Chapel Avenue West to check on the well-being of Mr. Bestic based on a call placed to police by a concerned person.

According to officials, Mr. Bestic allowed the officers into the home, and shortly after that, Mr. Bestic produced a firearm and shot himself.

Officials said Officer Fox also fired his service weapon once, and the bullet grazed Mr. Bestic’s right arm, causing a superficial injury.

Mr. Bestic was declared deceased at the scene, officials stated.

The state grand jury concluded that Officer Fox’s use of force did not cause Mr. Bestic’s death, officials say.