A Tinton Falls woman was convicted Friday on accusations she arranged to have her girlfriend shot, then later strangling her to death and burying her body in a backyard.

Jennifer Sweeney, 38, was found guilty of first-degree murder, first-degree conspiracy to commit murder, second-degree desecration of human remains, fourth-degree tampering with evidence, and three related weapons offenses, according to a release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office.

In November 2015, investigators said, Linden Police officers responded to reports of a shooting and found 41-year-old city resident Tyrita Julius in the driver's seat of her vehicle, which had crashed into a utility pole. Julius had been shot eight times, and her teenage daughter, who was also in the car, had also been wounded.

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After having been hospitalized from the shooting, Julius was then reported missing in March 2016, her mother telling authorities that Julius had been spending time with a female friend in Tinton Falls, according to the release.

In August 2016, after months of investigation, Julius' remains were found in the backyard of Andre Harris, 37, of Long Branch. Harris was later identified as the gunman in the November 2015 shooting.

Sweeney faces a term of life in prison without the possibility of parole when sentenced in November. Harris previously agreed to a plea deal that stipulated 16 years in prison, and an agreement to testify during Sweeney's trial.

Patrick Lavery is New Jersey 101.5's afternoon news anchor. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email patrick.lavery@townsquaremedia.com.

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