South Plainfield Man’s Post-Conviction Relief Application Denied

Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C Carey announced that the denial of an application for post-conviction relief by a South Plainfield man convicted of murder in 2010 was affirmed today by the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division.   According to authorities, Paul Cibelli Jr., of South Plainfield was convicted on October 21,  2010 by a jury sitting in New Brunswick of the 2005 murder of Tania Silva, his estranged 35-year old girlfriend, hindering his own apprehension and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.   Officials say Cibelli initially was convicted in May 2007, but filed an appeal and was granted a retrial in June 2009. He was retried and found guilty a second time of murdering his estranged girlfriend and then disposing her body in an attempt to conceal the crime. He was sentenced on January 5, 2011 in New Brunswick by Superior Court Judge Bradley Ferencz to a 55-year prison term, subject to 85 % parole ineligibility pursuant to the No Early Release Act.   The Judge also imposed a 5-year term for the hindering count to run consecutively to the 55-year term. That conviction and sentence was affirmed on direct appeal by the Appellate Division on July 15, 2013.   During an eight-day trial that began on October 6, 2010, former Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Neil J. Casey presented evidence and testimony showing that Cibelli stunned Ms. Silva when he struck her over the head with a heavy hammer-stapler gun, strangled her, and then took her body and other evidence to a recycling center in Philadelphia, Pa.