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NJ Grand Jury Declines to Charge Officers in Fatal Motel Shooting in Montville


By: Najla Alexander 

NJ AG authorities announced that a state grand jury has voted not to file criminal charges at the conclusion of its deliberations regarding the death of James Allandale, formerly known as James Allan, 61, of Denville, in a police-involved shooting at a motel in the Pine Brook section of Montville on December 31, 2022.

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

In July 2021, 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 body-worn camera footage, and autopsy results from the medical examiner, and this evidence was presented to a state grand jury, officials stated.

After hearing the testimony and evidence, the grand jury concluded its deliberations Monday, October 30, 2023, and voted “no bill,” meaning the grand jury decided no criminal charges should be filed against Sgt. Fred Jackson of the Denville Police Department and Morristown Police Sgt. James Krauss, a member of the Morris County Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team (“SERT”), officials said.

According to the investigation, on December 31, 2022, the Morris County SERT were at the motel to assist Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office detectives with arresting Mr. Allandale on a warrant charging him with attempted murder and other related charges stemming from an incident on December 27, 2022, in Elmwood Park, officials say.

Officials said when SERT members arrived at the motel, they unsuccessfully attempted to unlock Allandale’s room door using a key card.

Because the door would not open, at 7:18 p.m., SERT used a battering ram to enter the room, and according to officials, immediately upon entry, officers observed Allandale in a kneeling position, holding a revolver pointed at the officers.

Authorities say Allandale exchanged gunfire with Sgt. Jackson and Sgt. Krauss.

A paramedic with the SERT was on scene to provide advanced life support to Mr. Allandale, who was pronounced deceased at approximately 7:27 p.m., officials said

A projectile was recovered from the ballistic shield carried by Sgt. Jackson directly underneath the shield’s eye port, and officials say the two sergeants were transported to an area hospital for non-life-threatening injuries and later released.

Recordings from body-worn cameras were released in February 2023, officials stated, click here to view the recordings.