By: Najla Alexander
Authorities in Ocean County announced that on October 20, the Honorable Guy P. Ryan, P.J.Cr.P., sentenced Leyron Jones, 26, of Toms River, to 50 years in New Jersey State Prison (NJSP), having been previously found guilty of Murder in connection with the shooting death of Javon Cutler which occurred in Toms River on October 11, 2020.
Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer reported that Judge Ryan sentenced Jones’ co-defendant, Daivon Sullivan, 21, also of Toms River, to 40 years NJSP in connection with the same shooting death.
The sentences are subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act (NERA), meaning that both individuals will be required to serve at least 85 percent of their sentences before they may be considered for parole eligibility, officials stated.
Additionally, officials said Judge Ryan sentenced both Jones and Sullivan to 10 years NJSP – also subject to NERA - as a consequence of having been found guilty of Attempted Murder with respect to a second victim.
According to officials, the sentences will run consecutive to the sentences imposed relative to their murder convictions.
Officials say Judge Ryan then sentenced Jones and Sullivan to five years NJSP - with a 42-month period of parole ineligibility - as a result of their being convicted of Unlawful Possession of a Weapon in connection with the same shooting incident.
Judge Ryan then sentenced Sullivan, officials said, to 10 years NJSP as a result of his conviction for Attempted Murder of a third victim; this sentence will run concurrently with the other sentences imposed upon Sullivan.
Authorities say Jones and Sullivan were found guilty of all the aforementioned charges on August 17, 2023, following a three-week-long jury trial before Judge Ryan.
Officials stated an investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Toms River Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit revealed that on October 11, 2020, at approximately 8:15 p.m., Javon Cutler, 19, of Bayville, and two friends were attempting to leave Toms River Apartments, located on Main Street in Toms River, when an unknown individual opened fire on their vehicle.
According to officials, Mr. Cutler, who was seated in the rear passenger seat, was struck in the head as a result.
The driver of the vehicle drove directly to Community Medical Center to seek medical treatment for Mr. Cutler.
Officials say Mr. Cutler was subsequently transported to Jersey Shore Medical Center, where he ultimately succumbed to his injuries on October 14, 2020.
A post-mortem examination was performed by the Ocean County Medical Examiner on October 15, 2020.
Officials stated the Medical Examiner determined the cause of Mr. Cutler’s death to be an intermediate-distance gunshot wound to the head and the manner of death to be a homicide.
After a very thorough and comprehensive investigation that spanned the course of nearly three weeks, it was determined that Sullivan, Jones, and a third defendant, Shadrach Correa, 21, of Toms River, acted together and in support of one another in carrying out the shooting that resulted in the death of Javon Cutler, according to officials.
All three defendants were charged in connection with Mr. Cutler’s murder on October 28, 2020, authorities say.
Correa had already been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since October 23, 2020, relative to an unrelated charge, officials said, Sullivan and Jones were apprehended on October 29, 2020, and have been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since they were taken into custody.
Officials said on April 24, 2023, Correa pled guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Murder and Unlawful Possession of a Weapon.
Correa’s sentencing date has not yet been set, and Correa’s sentencing will be left to the Court’s discretion, officials say.