A 36-year-old Ocean County man who admitted to a violent carjacking nearly four years ago has now been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

John Bailey, of the Bayville section of Berkeley Township, pleaded guilty in June to charges stemming from the late 2018 incident.

Bailey has confessed to approaching a 20-year-old woman who was sitting inside a car outside her Lakewood home on Dec. 5.

She gave him directions but said no when he asked for a ride, after which Bailey briefly walked away before turning back and smashing her window, getting into the car and choking the woman, prosecutors said.

He then began to drive the car away while threatening to kill her but the young woman managed to escape the moving vehicle and ran to a nearby house for help.

The victim was treated for neck and head injuries and a bite mark to her leg.

Police did find her vehicle later that same day, abandoned in Jackson with blood stains on the rear driver’s side door and quarter panel.

It wasn't until June 2020 that the DNA profile from the blood stain on the vehicle came up as a possible match to Bailey, as alerted by the New Jersey State Police Office of Forensic Sciences.

Months later, Bailey underwent a court-ordered DNA swab and by early 2021, the results proved to be a match.

A carjacking charge was filed on January 5, 2021, and Bailey was entered into the National Crime Information Center database as a wanted person.

Before the end of that month, he was arrested in Perth Amboy and taken to Ocean County jail, where he has remained since then.

He must serve at least 85% of his prison sentence before being considered for parole.

Erin Vogt is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at erin.vogt@townsquaremedia.com

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These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn't have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible trails, waterfalls, and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to the hidden gems of New Jersey, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is such a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it's a great workout.

Before you go out on the trails and explore some of our listeners' suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you are going downhill and run into an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the uphill hiker space. A hiker going uphill has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless they are marked as an official trail, steer clear of them. By going off-trail you may cause damage to the ecosystems around the trail, the plants, and wildlife that live there.

You also do not want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you will encounter on the trails in New Jersey.
If you are thinking of bringing your dog on your hike, they should be leashed, and make sure to clean up all pet waste.

Lastly, be mindful of the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it's probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions of the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:

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