By: Yurtiza Arroyo
Somerset County authorities announced that on February 23, the New Jersey Supreme Court dismissed the appeals filed by Defendants Cindy and David Keogh as the admissibility of their statements given to police who had been called to investigate a shooting on their property.
According to officials, due to that Supreme Court order, the statements given by Cindy and David Keogh will be admissible against them at their future criminal trial.
Authorities say by way of background, on April 26, 2022, Cindy and David Keogh’s son, defendant Ryan D. Keogh, was found guilty of 1st-degree Murder; 2nd-degree Possession of a Firearm for an Unlawful Purpose; 3rd-degree Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution; 3rd degree Endangering an Injured Victim; 4th-degree False Swearing (4 of 5 Counts); 4th degree Tampering with Physical Evidence; and 4th-degree Unlawful Possession of a Large Capacity Ammunition Magazine, following a six-week jury trial in Somerset County.
Ryan D. Keogh was acquitted of one of the counts against him – a sole count of 4th-degree False Swearing. The trial began on March 7, with jury selection, and ended with the jury’s return of verdict on April 26.
According to officials, after the verdict, the defendant was remanded to the Somerset County Jail, where he was lodged pending sentencing.
Prosecutor McDonald stated Ryan D. Keogh was arrested on February 14, 2019.
Ryan D. Keogh’s conviction stems from an investigation that began at 7:36 p.m. on January 9, 2019, when the Middlesex Borough Police Department received 9-1-1 call reporting shots fired at a residence on Farm Lane, Bound Brook.
The Prosecutor stated that Middlesex Borough authorities relayed the call to Bound Brook Police, who responded and located victim Terrence C. Coulanges, age 29, of Old Bridge, outside the residence with gunshot wounds to the right thigh and left chest.
Responding officers, along with medical personnel, initiated life-saving measures and subsequently transported the victim to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick, where he was pronounced dead.
Investigators interviewed neighbors who reported hearing what turned out to be gunshots at 5:45 p.m.
According to detectives, the investigation determined that defendant Ryan Keogh, along with his parents, Defendants Cindy and David Keogh, left the residence on Farm Lane for some time after Mr. Coulanges was shot and before a 9-1-1 call was placed at 7:36 p.m.
Detectives say after Ryan Keogh shot Mr. Coulanges, the police were not notified until 1 hour and 51 minutes. Mr. Coulangeswas found to have died due to gunshot wounds to the chest and thigh. The Medical Examiner found the cause of death to be gunshot wounds and homicide to be the manner of death.
Ryan Keogh was arrested on February 14, 2019, following an investigation conducted by several law enforcement agencies, namely, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes and Crimes Scene Investigation Units, the Bound Brook Police Department, the New Jersey State Police, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
According to the Police, on the Murder charge, Ryan Keogh faced a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years imprisonment and a maximum sentence of 75 years imprisonment with 85% of the term to be served without parole under the No Early Release Act.
On August 26, 2022, Ryan D. Keogh was sentenced for the murder of Terrence Coulanges and related offenses following the guilty verdicts returned by a petit jury on April 26, 2022.
Prosecutor McDonald stated that before imposing a sentence; the defendant’s motion for a judgment of acquittal and a new trial was denied, and Keogh was sentenced to the following:
• On Count One for first-degree murder, Judge Tober imposed a 50-year term of imprisonment with 85% of the term to be served without parole under the No Early Release Act.
• On Count Two for possessing a handgun for an unlawful purpose, Judge Tober merged that count into Count One for sentencing purposes.
• On Count Three for hindering oneself in the third degree, the defendant was sentenced to 5 years in prison concurrent to the term imposed for murder and the other counts.
• On Count Four for third-degree endangering an injured victim, the defendant was given a three-year term in prison to be served consecutive to the term imposed for murder. This term was consecutive under New Jersey Statutes.
• On Counts Five, Six, Eight, and Nine for fourth-degree false swearing, the defendant was sentenced to 18 months in prison concurrent to the sentence imposed for murder and other counts. The defendant was acquitted of false swearing in Count Seven.
• On Count Ten for fourth-degree tampering with physical evidence, the defendant was sentenced to 18 months in prison concurrent to the sentence imposed for murder and other counts.
• Lastly, on Count Eleven for fourth-degree possession of a large-capacity ammunition magazine, the defendant received a concurrent 18-month sentence.
Payment of fines, penalties, and restitution was also ordered.
Cindy and David Keogh had their pretrial appeals vacated and dismissed by the New Jersey Supreme Court.
That order thus concluded the proceedings concerning the admissibility of statements they gave to police on the night of the shooting.
Cindy Keogh and David Keogh have been charged with providing false statements to authorities and hindering the homicide investigation regarding their son.
Cindy Keogh and David Keogh have been charged and indicted by a Somerset County Grand Jury with 4th-degree Hindering – Providing False Information, 4th-degree False Swearing Under Oath, and 3rd-degree Endangering an Injured Victim.
According to authorities, previously, their recorded witness statements to police were ruled to be inadmissible by the trial court on the ground that neither Cindy nor David Keogh was provided Miranda warnings before their interviews.
The Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office appealed that ruling, and on June 28, 2022, the Superior Court, Appellate Division, reversed the trial court’s order suppressing the statements.
The Appellate Division ruled that Cindy and David Keogh were not entitled to Miranda warnings since when they gave their statements to investigators, they were neither in custody nor subjected to an interrogation. As a result, Miranda’s requirements did not apply to them.
Therefore, the Appellate Division ruled that their statements were admissible at trial. Defendants Cindy and David Keogh then filed motions for leave to appeal from that ruling to the New Jersey Supreme Court, which agreed to consider their appeal.
The parties filed legal briefs, and the Supreme Court heard oral arguments concerning the admissibility of Cindy and David Keogh’s statements on January 31.
The New Jersey Supreme Court received written submissions on behalf of the State by Somerset County Assistant Prosecutor. An oral argument was conducted on behalf of the State by Somerset County Assistant Prosecutor.
Among the materials the State submitted to the Supreme Court were transcripts of Cindy and David Keogh’s testimony from their son Ryan’s trial. In that testimony, Cindy and David Keogh admitted under oath that the accounts they provided to investigators on the night of the shooting were false.
On February 23, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued an order stating that after having considered the transcripts of Cindy and David Keogh’s testimony at Ryan’s trial and after having reviewed the parties written submissions and the oral arguments of counsel, the earlier orders granting Cindy and David Keogh’s motions for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court are vacated, and defendants’ appeals are dismissed.
Therefore, given the Supreme Court’s dismissal of Cindy and David Keogh’s appeals, the ruling of the Appellate Division stands. Cindy and David Keogh’s statements to investigators on the night of the shooting will be admissible as evidence against them at trial.