Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on September 23, John T. Mullen Jr., 51, of Seaside Heights, pled guilty to Aggravated Manslaughter.
On October 20, 2019, Manchester Township Police responded to the Surf and Stream Campground after receiving multiple 911 calls about a body lying in the entrance driveway to the campground.
Upon arrival, Manchester patrol units found the body of Thomas J. Applegate, 34, of Manchester, lying in the driveway of the Surf and Stream Campground with a wound in his chest.
The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. A joint investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, Manchester Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office determined that Mullen stabbed Mr. Applegate during the course of a drug deal, which ultimately resulted in his death.
“Through good old-fashioned police work, these law enforcement agencies – acting together - expeditiously solved this heinous crime and identified Mullen as the individual responsible for Mr. Applegate’s death,” Prosecutor Billhimer said. “As a result of their tremendous teamwork, for which I am extremely grateful, this dangerous man was swiftly apprehended, and will now be required to answer for his crime with a lengthy state prison sentence. Justice for Mr. Applegate and his family will be served."