Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer has announced that Anthony Barksdale, 26, of New York, was found guilty today in the murder of Steven Stallworth following a jury trial before the Honorable Guy P. Ryan, J.S.C.
Officials say the murder occurred in Toms River on March 5, 2018.
In rendering its verdict, the jury concluded beyond a reasonable doubt that Barksdale purposely or knowingly caused the death of Mr. Stallworth.
The jury also found Barksdale guilty of Conspiracy to Commit Murder, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, and Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose. Barksdale will continue to remain lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending sentencing by Judge Ryan on August 19, 2020, at which time the State will be seeking a sentence of life imprisonment.
Prosecutor Billhimer applauds the diligence and dedication of Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Michael Abatemarco and Senior Assistant Prosecutor Robert Cassidy, who ably and skillfully tried the case on behalf of the State.
Prosecutor Billhimer stated: “I am extremely proud of the team effort exhibited by members of my office and the other law enforcement agencies involved in bringing Anthony Barksdale to justice. This was a horrendous murder, and Mr. Stallworth’s family has been forced to endure much suffering as a result.
I hope this guilty verdict provides them with some level of peace and closure.” Prosecutor Billhimer added: “I would also like to compliment Judge Ryan, who presided over this trial with great care and thoughtfulness, as well as the jurors - who demonstrated a remarkable commitment to their oaths in reaching this verdict.
The trial commenced in early March of this year, prior to the onset of the coronavirus, but needed to be suspended due to health and safety concerns related to the pandemic.
The trial was permitted to reconvene last week, and the judge and jury have remained steadfast in their obligations throughout this arduous process.
I am genuinely grateful for their dedication to seeking the truth – particularly in light of the current circumstances due to COVID-19.