Judgment of Acquittal Standard (Part 3)

by | Dec 12, 2021 | Blog, Criminal Law, Monmouth County, New Jersey, Ocean County

The per curiam opinion continued in relevant part: The following morning, defendant stated that on the afternoon of May 25, she took Timmy to a park in Holmdel and then drove Timmy to the Sayreville carnival. She stated that they arrived at the carnival at 7:00 p.m. and that Timmy went on three rides. Defendant told Detective Richard Sloan that a half hour after they arrived, she went to get a soda, leaving Timmy “where she could see him,” and when she turned around “he was gone.” On May 28, police searched defendant’s apartment but found no evidence relevant to their search for Timmy. In the days that followed, defendant gave police a series of inconsistent statements regarding her son’s disappearance but never admitted any involvement in his disappearance.

In October 1991, a man walking near Raritan Center in Edison found a child’s left sneaker with Ninja Turtle images on it, put the sneaker in a plastic bag, and delivered it to Sayreville police. The sneaker was found approximately four-tenths of a mile from the office of defendant’s former workplace. Police later identified the sneaker as matching the serial number on the box that had contained sneakers purchased by defendant about a week before Timmy disappeared. In March 1992, FBI Agent Ronald Butkiewicz and another FBI agent interviewed defendant with her attorney present. The following month, Butkiewicz interviewed defendant’s mother, who disclosed that defendant had previously worked at the Raritan Center. Butkiewicz interviewed defendant again and asked her to provide a list of her employers. Defendant listed Florida Fulfillment. Asked where Florida Fulfillment was, defendant identified it as a “Florida-based” company. When asked directly for Florida Fulfillment’s New Jersey location, she identified the Raritan Center.

The “inconsistent statements” would have encouraged the police to zero in on the defendant. It is unclear why the defendant’s attorney would have acquiesced in her giving a statement under the circumstances.