by Patricia A. Miller
A Toms River man has been found guilty of eluding Manchester police, after a three-day trial in Ocean County Superior Court, said Al Della Fave, spokesman for the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office.
John L. Williams, Jr, 48, was found guilty of 2nd degree eluding, before Judge James M. Blaney. The court reserved decision on 13 motor vehicle citations issued at the time of Williams’ arrest, he said.
case stems from the January 6, 2012 arrest of Williams by Manchester Township
Police Detective Adam J. Guker.
Williams was driving a 2007
Silver Toyota Camry at roughly 3:38 p.m. on Route 571 in Manchester when he knowingly fled police.
Williams struck a fence on a private residence and continuing driving until he eventually stopped at 1733 Seminole Street in Manchester. His driver's license was expired and suspended at the time.
trial took place from March 25, 2014 to March 27, Williams was tried on a two-count
indictment: 2nd degreee eluding and
4th degree unlawful possession of a weapon, according to the prosecutor's office.
The jury found the defendant guilty of 2nd degree eluding and not guilty of the 4th degree unlawful possession of a weapon. The court will decide the 13 motor vehicle citations issued reference the eluding event at the time of sentencing.
Defense counsel was Deputy Public Defender Dawn M. Nee. Assistant Prosecutor Ehsan F. Chowdhry represented the State. Chowdhry called three witnesses, including Det. Guker, Det. Danny Barker and the owner of the damaged fence. The defense did not call any witnesses.
Chowdhry filed an extended term motion which now increases the defendant's exposure, based on his prior criminal record, to potentially 5 to 20 years in State's prison with up to potentially 2.5 years to 10 years period of parole ineligibility. He also will have to forfeit his driver's license 6 to 24 months.
Williams' tentative sentence date is June 6, 2014. His bail has been revoked and he is lodged in the Ocean County Jail. Williams is also facing unrelated charges in a separate pending indictment.