By: Richard L. Smith
Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago said the two men criminally charged in connection with a shooting that left a man and a woman dead in Neptune Township early last year have both admitted to their roles in the killings
Authorities said Gabriel J. Brathwaite, 20, of Keansburg pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree Murder and a related weapons offense, admitting that he fatally shot 18-year-old Samore Edwards of Plainfield and 19-year-old Isaiah Williams of New Brunswick.
According to Prosecutor Santiago, Braithwaite’s codefendant, Jeron D. Dearin, 24, of the Cliffwood section of Aberdeen, pleaded guilty to second-degree Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Assault in connection with the incident.
The pleas were entered during a hearing yesterday before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Marc C. Lemieux.
Shortly before 8:15 p.m. on Wednesday, January 19, 2022, members of the Neptune Township Police Department responded to the 1300 block of Washington Avenue on a report of a shooting.
At that location, officers found the two victims in a parked vehicle; Edwards was subsequently pronounced deceased at the scene, while Williams was transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center, where he was pronounced deceased shortly after arrival.
An intensive investigation involving members of the MCPO Major Crimes Bureau, the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, the Neptune Township Police Department, and the Keansburg Police Department resulted in Braithwaite and Dearin being identified as suspects in the case.
The pair ultimately were arrested without incident less than a month after the shooting. They have remained in custody at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution (MCCI) since.
Sentencing in the case has been tentatively scheduled for Thursday, December 7 before Judge Lemieux, at which time the State intends to recommend terms of 45 and 10 years, respectively, for Brathwaite and Dearin – with 85 percent of each sentence to be served before the possibility of parole under New Jersey’s No Early Release Act (NERA).
The pleas being announced today were negotiated and agreed to after consulting with the families of Edwards and Williams.