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NJ Man Sentenced for Atlantic County Murder, Carjacking


By: Yuritza Arroyo

On Friday, March 31, Jermaine Wharton, 33, of Pleasantville, was sentenced to 43 years in New Jersey State Prison subject to the No Early Release Act, where he must serve 85 percent of his time before being eligible for parole.

According to officials, the Court determined that he be sentenced as a persistent offender to an extended term of imprisonment on the First-Degree Murder conviction.

Officials say Wharton was charged in December of 2021 with murder, felony murder, carjacking, unlawful possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and possession of a handgun without a permit.

On February 23,  an Atlantic County jury convicted Wharton on First-Degree Murder, First- Degree Felony Murder, First-Degree Carjacking, Second-Degree Possession of a Weapon for Unlawful Purpose, and Second-Degree Unlawful Possession of a Handgun Without a Permit.

According to authorities, on November 13, 2021, at approximately 9:19 a.m., officers were dispatched to a Shotspotter response in the area of 914 North Main Street, Pleasantville.

Upon arrival, the Pleasantville Police Department located the victim, Ivan Smith, lying on the ground from a gunshot wound.

Police say Smith was pronounced deceased on the scene. Detectives reviewed surveillance footage and talked to a number of witnesses.

Based on that investigation, detectives learned that the defendant unsuccessfully attempted to break into a witness's car and approached the victim and his vehicle. Shortly after, there was a gunshot, and the victim was found dead.

The defendant was later identified as the man who approached the victim prior to the gunshot and who then stole the victim’s car, transporting it to Millville.