Somerset County Acting Prosecutor Annmarie Taggart, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor and Franklin Township Public Safety Director Quovella M. Maeweather announced that on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, the Honorable Peter J. Tober, P.J.Cr., sentenced defendant Tayyab A. Ware, age 31, of Meadowbrook Drive, Augusta, Georgia, to thirty-five (35) years in New Jersey State Prison, with 30 years to be served without parole eligibility.
He was also ordered to pay $25,000 in restitution to the Victims of Crime Compensation Office (VCCO) for expenses paid to the victim’s family.
Co-defendant Todd C. Smith, 32, of Truman Drive, Edison, was sentenced to ten (10) years’ New Jersey State Prison, 85% of that term to be served without parolepursuant to the No Early Release Act.
Prosecutor Taggart stated that on February 15, 2022 defendant Ware was convicted by a Somerset County Jury of First Degree Murder, First Degree Felony Murder, First Degree Robbery, Second Degree Conspiracy to Commit Robbery, Second Degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose and Second Degree Unlawful Possession of a Handgun.
The 35-year sentence was imposed on the murder charge with other sentences for the lesser crimes either merging or running concurrent to the top charge.
Co-defendant Smith pled guilty to Robbery for his role in the incident.
Prosecutor Taggart stated that on Monday, November 2, 2020, at approximately 8:41 p.m., Franklin Township Police responded to numerous 9-1-1 calls reporting a shooting victim inside of a Barber shop located on Hamilton Street, Somerset Section of Franklin Township.
Responding Officers located a male victim suffering from a gunshot wound inside of the establishment. Franklin Township Police Officers immediately began to administer lifesaving measures along with responding emergency medical personnel.
The victim, whom authorities identified as Denny Sanchez,34, from Franklin Park, New Jersey was transported to an area trauma center where he was subsequently pronounced deceased.
Prosecutor Taggart stated detectives from the Franklin Township Police Department, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, and the Crime Scene Investigations Unit, responded to conduct the investigation.
An autopsy performed by the Northern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Sanchez’s death a homicide.
A two month homicide investigation was conducted by the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit and the Franklin Township Police Department. As part of this investigation, numerous interviews were conducted as well as follow up investigation.
Prosecutor Taggart stated that as a result of this investigation, Todd Smith was apprehended without incident by detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit and the Franklin Township Police Department after being observed in a shopping area in Clark, New Jersey.
At the time of his arrest, defendant Smith was found to be in possession of a firearm. Defendant Smith was charged with 1st degree, Murder, 1st degree Robbery, 2nd degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose and 2nd degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon.
Prosecutor Taggart stated that as a result of this investigation detectives assigned to the homicide investigation travelled to Augusta, Georgia. On Wednesday, December 30, 2020, at approximately 7:50 a.m. Tayyab Ware was apprehended without incident at a residence in Augusta, Georgia by members of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigations Atlanta Field Office. Defendant Ware was charged with 1st degree Murder, 1st degree Robbery, and 2nd degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose. Defendant Ware was subsequently extradited back to New Jersey by Somerset County authorities.