Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato today announced Antonio Jones, 36, of Lakewood, NJ was found guilty on both counts of first degree armed robbery and fourth degree obstruction of the administration of law. The trial started on Feb. 4, 2014 and the jury returned a verdict this morning.
The crimes occurred on Feb. 7, 2012 in Lakewood. The victim was held up by Jones outside his residence that night. About 30 minutes later and seven blocks away, a person matching the description of the robber was spotted by Lakewood Police. When the officer stopped to make inquiry, the defendant fled. A foot chase ensued after which Jones was apprehended. During the foot chase, Jones was observed to have discarded several items, which were later revealed to be a ski hat, a leather jacket (as the victim had described the robber wearing), and a novelty handgun covered by a black sock.
In addition, when the Jones was being processed at Lakewood Police Headquarters, he was found to be in possession of a unique coin (a shekel) that the victim had carried in his wallet for years. DNA evidence matched the defendant to the jacket and a glove in it.
Det. Thomas D’Elia, Ptl. Steve Kowaleski, Ptl. Joseph Prebish, and now-Sgt. Eric Miick were the Lakewood officers involved in the arrest and investigation. Ocean County Sherriff’s Department CIU Detectives Eric Skieczius and John Anderson processed the scene and the defendant. The NJ State Police Laboratory forensic scientists Margaret Paul and Lynn Crutchley were also witnesses. Ocean County Prosecutor Detectives Juan Pastrana, John Steinhauer, Tiffany Resnick, John Doran, and Geoff Memmelaar assisted in the prosecution.
The case was successfully prosecuted by Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Michelle Armstrong. AP Armstrong will now be making application to have the defendant sentenced to life imprisonment without parole under the Three Strikes Law (N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.1) due to the defendant’s prior criminal record. The presiding trial judge was the Honorable Francis R. Hodgson, Jr, J.S.C.
Antonio Jones has been continuously incarcerated since the time of his arrest. See attached photo of Jones.
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