Crime: N.J. man accused of ordering his father killed will remain jailed pending trial - PressFrom - US

Crime N.J. man accused of ordering his father killed will remain jailed pending trial

22:30  09 october  2019
22:30  09 october  2019 Source:

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A Brick man accused of ordering his former jail bunk mate to kill his father will remain jailed pending his trial, an Ocean County judge ruled Wednesday.

a young man in a green shirt: Mark J. Austin in Ocean County Superior Court in Toms River in this file photo.© Russ DeSantis | For NJ Advance Media/Russ DeSantis | For NJ Advance M/ Mark J. Austin in Ocean County Superior Court in Toms River in this file photo.

Mark J. Austin, 27, is charged with the murder of his father, Mark R. Austin, who was found beaten to death with a bloody baseball bat in his Acorn Drive home on Sept. 7. Austin allegedly held a gun to 27-year-old Salem man Jeray Melton’s head and told him to carry out the killing, according to prosecutors and a statement Melton gave to detectives a week after the murder.

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Austin’s attorney, Richard DeGroot, argued that police used coercion to obtain a false confession from Melton and that his client, who he called “a suburban lollipop," would not be physically capable of intimidating Melton. He argued Austin’s father had a drug problem and may have overdosed.

But Judge Wendel Daniels ordered Austin detained, citing the serious murder charge against him and sufficient evidence presented by prosecutors.

Melton is also charged with murder in the Mark A. Austin’s death and is being held in Ocean County Jail after he recently waived his detention hearing.

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In court, prosecutors have argued that small details from the investigation match the account Melton gave to police and pointed to Austin.

Cell phone data shows Austin and his father’s cell phone in the same area of Route 70 around 9 p.m. that night, prosecutors said. Melton told police in a tense, 80-minute statement to detectives that Austin took the victim’s cell phone before the two left the crime scene and headed to Salem to dispose of their clothes.

Investigators also uncovered a partial Facebook Messenger conversation from the night of the murder between Austin and Melton, who was a bunkmate of Austin at the Garden State Youth Correctional Facility for three months in 2016, authorities said. One of the messages Melton sent to Austin says “he noticed the cameras.”

Prosecutors say the message is suspicious because Austin initially told police that home surveillance cameras in the house were not working, but investigators later found some footage from the day of the murder.

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Melton also told detectives that Austin may have been motivated by a $7,000 to $8,000 debt that his father owed him.

Avalon Zoppo may be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @AvalonZoppo. Find on Facebook.

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Accused murderer wants his confession thrown out before trial .
"You know I killed her, so." Those were the words of Phillip Clark to Deputy Chief Scott Webber last July. Phillip Clark is accused of shooting and killing his sister-in-law, Renee on July 11, 2018. According to court documents, Renee had filed for a protection from abuse against Phillip in February of 2018. She was denied that protection from a judge. On Tuesday, in a Bangor court, an evidentiary hearing was held with this confession at the forefront.The defense is looking to get Phillip's confession thrown out and not allow it to be used in the trial, that's scheduled for November.Police were questioned in court about the events of the night Renee was murdered.

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