Indictment: 4 men killed Red Bank teacher in robbery-gone-wrong
Four men charged with the 2009 killing of a Red Bank school teacher have been indicted on nine counts of murder by a Monmouth County grand jury.
Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said James M. Fair, 28, Ebenezer Byrd, 36, and Gregory A. Jean-Baptiste, 27, all of Asbury Park, and Jerry J. Spraulding, 38, of Keansburg are all named in the indictment for the 2009 murder of Jonelle Melton, a teacher at Red Bank Middle School.
All four men are charged with second-degree conspiracy, second-degree burglary, first-degree robbery, first-degree felony murder, second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon. Byrd and Jean-Baptiste are charged additionally with first-degree tampering with a witness. Byrd and Spraulding face additional charges of second-degree certain persons not to possess weapons.
Neptune City Police Department received a 911 call around 9:07 a.m. on Sept. 14, 2009, reporting the discovery of unresponsive woman in an apartment in the Brighton Arms complex, 311 West Sylvania Ave. in the borough. Officers arrived on scene and found Melton. Monmouth Ocean Hospital Services Corporation paramedics arrived shortly thereafter and pronounced her deceased, the prosecutor's office said.
According to the prosecutor's office, the investigation has continued for six years, and was one of the first cases to utilize the Monmouth County Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line and reward program.
Gramiccioni said the four men charged planned to burglarize a specific apartment in the Brighton Arms complex. The men broke into the wrong apartment and encountered the Melton, authorities say.
"At some point after realizing they were in the wrong apartment, the men brutally murdered Melton," the prosecutor's office said.