Keansburg man found guilty of murder in marijuana robbery
A Keansburg man now faces 30 years to life in prison after a Monmouth County jury found him guilty of killing a 20-year-old during a botched marijuana robbery last year.
John Curtin, 20, was convicted Tuesday of the first-degree felony murder of Evan Smutz in the victim's Keyport apartment last August. The jury also found him guilty of first-degree armed robbery, first-degree aggravated manslaughter and second-degree weapons offenses.
Curtin took the stand during his three-week trial, arguing that that Smutz' death was an accident in a drug deal gone wrong.
Police responded to a 911 call about 12:48 p.m. on Aug. 9 and found Smutz with two gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead minutes later.
Prosecutors said Curtin brought a fully loaded revolver to Smutz' apartment with the intent of robbing him of money and marijuana. After firing three shots at Smutz, Curtin fled to New York, where turned himself in to police.
Curtin's sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 17 in Superior Court in Freehold Borough.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.