Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on July 26, Marcus Samuels, 32, of South Toms River, was sentenced to ten years in State Prison as a result of his previously entered guilty plea to Aggravated Manslaughter relative to the shooting death of Willie Love, 27, of Beachwood, that occurred in South Toms River on June 8, 2015.
Additionally, Samuels was sentenced to ten years State Prison as a result of a previously entered guilty plea to Conspiracy to Commit Witness Tampering and five years in connection with an unrelated charge of Aggravated Assault, relative to an incident that occurred in Seaside Heights on May 3, 2015. Samuels pled guilty to all charges on June 4, 2021. The sentences will run concurrently.
According to Prosecutor Billhimer, on June 8, 2015, Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit and Officers of the South Toms River Police Department responded to Community Medical Center in Toms River for a report of a male having suffered a gunshot wound to the chest.
The male was identified to be Willie Love, who later succumbed to his injuries at Community Medical Center.
An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit and South Toms River Police Department revealed that Samuels - who was driving a 2004 Dodge Nitro - pulled alongside a vehicle being operated by Mr. Love which contained three passengers.
According to the investigation, Samuels then recklessly fired a handgun into Mr. Love’s vehicle, striking Mr. Love, which led to his death. Samuels turned himself in to law enforcement in the presence of his attorney on June 12, 2015, and has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since that date.
Prosecutor Billhimer said that while Samuels was detained in the Ocean County Jail pending trial on these charges, he conspired with other inmates to influence a witness into retracting or changing a statement previously provided to law enforcement in connection with the investigation.