NJ man heard on creepy 911 call is indicted in grandparents’ beating death
BRANCHBURG - A 20-year-old Branchburg man who was charged with fatally beating his grandparents to death with an aluminum baseball bat earlier this year was indicted Wednesday on two first degree murder charges, authorities announced.
Ezra Simon-Daniels was indicted on two counts of first degree murder and one count of third degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose in connection with the murder of his grandparents, Louis and Beatrice Simon, according to Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.
Authorities say the charges stem from an incident on Feb. 13. Readington Police received a 911 call at about 5:57 a.m. from Simon-Daniels who authorities say sounded distraught and was calling from the parking lot of a Walmart on Route 22 in Whitehouse. When officers arrived, they found Simon-Daniels in the driver’s seat of a motor vehicle, covered in blood but uninjured, the Prosecutor's Office said in a statement.
Minutes later, around 6:15 .m.,at the request of officers at the scene, Readington Police went to Simon-Daniels' home to conduct a welfare check. Police knocked several times but didn't get a response. When they entered the home, police say they found the unresponsive bodies of the defendant’s grandparents with significant blunt force trauma to their heads. Prosecutors say both "appeared to be homicide victims."
An investigation later revealed that both victims were lying in bed when they were assaulted, according to the prosecutor. Police also found the murder weapon - an aluminum baseball bat- inside the house. A medical examiner later concluded the cause of death for both to be blunt force trauma to the head. Their deaths were declared a homicide, authorities said.
Simon-Daniels is currently being housed in Somerset County Jail in lieu of $2,000,000 cash-only bail, according to the Prosecutor's Office.
Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.