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Philadelphia Man Pleads Guilty to Murdering Woman at NJ Motel

Maple Shade

By: Richard L. Smith 

Authorities in Burlington County reported that a 27-year-old Philadelphia man pled guilty Monday in Superior Court to killing a woman inside a Maple Shade motel last spring. 

Prosecutor LaChia L. Bradshaw said the investigation began just before 11:30 a.m. on May 11 after officers from the Maple Shade Police Department were called to the Bel-Air Motor Lodge on Route 73 for a report of an unresponsive female.  

According to Prosecutor Bradshaw, Michelle Johnston, 36, who had previously lived in multiple locations in the Burlington and Camden county areas, was found deceased in room 410.

An autopsy performed by Burlington County Medical Examiner Dr. Ian Hood determined the cause of death was strangulation and multiple stab wounds. 

Under an agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office, Alexander Rivera admitted to the slaying in exchange for a 25-year term in state prison.

Prosecutor Bradshaw said his guilty plea to Aggravated Manslaughter (First Degree) was entered in Mount Holly before the Hon. Gerard H. Breland, J.S.C., who scheduled sentencing for August 18.

Rivera was taken into custody at his residence in November by the U.S. Marshals Service New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force.