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Two Men Sentenced in Execution-Style Double Murder in Neptune Township


By: Richard L. Smith 

Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced on Monday the sentencing of two men for their roles in a deadly shooting that occurred nearly two years ago in Neptune Township. Gabriel J. Braithwaite, 21, of Keansburg, and Jeron D. Dearin, 24, from Cliffwood, Aberdeen, received prison sentences of 40 and 5 years respectively.MorganThe sentencing, delivered by Monmouth County Assignment Judge Marc C. Lemieux, requires both men to serve 85 percent of their terms under New Jersey's No Early Release Act (NERA) before they are eligible for parole.

The incident unfolded shortly before 8:15 p.m. on January 19, 2022, when Neptune Township Police responded to a report of a shooting on the 1300 block of Washington Avenue.

There, officers found 18-year-old Samore Edwards of Plainfield and 19-year-old Isaiah Williams of New Brunswick shot inside a parked vehicle.

Edwards was pronounced dead at the scene, while Williams died shortly after arriving at Jersey Shore University Medical Center.

An extensive investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO) Major Crimes Bureau, along with local police departments, revealed that Dearin drove his cousin, Braithwaite, to and from the crime scene, where Braithwaite fatally shot the victims.

Both suspects were arrested within a month of the shooting and have since been held at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution (MCCI). In a hearing in July 2023, Braithwaite pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and a related weapons offense.

Dearin admitted to second-degree conspiracy to commit aggravated assault.

The plea agreements were reached following consultations with the families of the victims, Edwards and Williams.MorganDuring the sentencing, family members, some wearing clothes and holding signs bearing images of the victims, shared statements recalling the young adults whose lives were tragically cut short.

Prosecutor Santiago described the crime as "utterly senseless and callous," highlighting the ambush of two unarmed individuals.

He expressed hope that the sentencing would bring some solace to the victims' families and serve as a stern warning against gun violence in Monmouth County.