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Case Results

State v Bascus, Marcus, Essex County Superior Court

Defendant faced life, accepted 15 year plea deal - 7/24/2014

Marcus Bascus accepted responsibility and entered a guilty plea on June 5, 2014 to First Degree Conspiracy to Commit Murder and Second Degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (handgun) related to the shootings which occurred on September 25, 2010 at an off-campus Seton Hall University fraternity party in East Orange, New Jersey. One person died and 4 others were wounded during the gunfire. Pursuant to the plea agreement, the State is recommending a maximum 15 year sentence subject to NERA (85%) law and the Graves Act. At sentencing, State will dismiss 8 remaining counts of the indictment-First Degree Murder, 4 counts of First Degree Attempted Murder, First Degree Felony Murder, Second Degree Burglary and Second Degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose. The co-defendant in this case, Nicholas Welch, was convicted after a jury trial earlier this year (2014) and sentenced on May 30, 2014 to 95 years in a state prison with an 89 year period of parole ineligibility. Bascus admitted under oath to agreeing to provide and providing Welch with a loaded .38 cal handgun knowing that Welch was going to illegally enter the off-campus fraternity party and shoot people with the gun causing death and/ or serious bodily injury. This was a damage control plea. Clifford E. Lazzaro, Esq. handled the plea and the entire case on behalf of Marcus Bascus.

United States v T F, United States District Court (NJ/ Trenton)

The defendant faced 24 to 30 months, received 12 - 4/10/2014

The defendant was charged with violating the terms and conditions of supervised release on a prior federal drug conviction and faced incarceration of 24 to 30 months consecutive to state sentencing in Monmouth County Superior Court. The defendant entered a guilty plea in federal district court to committing new criminal offenses (see Monmouth County 22 Count Accusation referenced above) while on supervised release. Clifford E. Lazzaro, Esq, successfully argued at sentencing for a 12 month term of imprisonment on the supervised release violation. 2014 case.

State v T F, Monmouth County Superior Court

The defendant faced 150 years, received 5 years - 2/28/2014

The defendant was charged by way of a 22 Count Accusation with four (4) counts of third degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance (cds), 4 counts of third degree possession of cds with intent to distribute, 4 counts of third degree distribution of cds, 4 counts of second degree possession of cds with the intent to distribute within 500 feet of public housing, 4 counts of second degree distribution of cds within 500 feet of public housing, 1 count of third degree possession of cds within 1,000 feet of a school and one count of third degree distribution of cds within 1,000 of a school. CDS in this case was Methylone (Molly). The defendant had an extensive prior criminal history for indictable or felony offenses involving cds distribution offenses and was subject to a mandatory extended term. Plea deal negotiated by Clifford E. Lazzaro. The defendant plead guilty to 4 out of the 22 counts of the accusation. The defendant plead to 3 counts third degree distribution of cds and one count of third degree distribution of cds within 1,000 feet of a school. The remaining 18 counts of the Accusation were dismissed at sentencing. All counts to run concurrent with one another. The defendant received a 5 year term New Jersey State Prison (NJSP) with 30 months of parole ineligibility. Mandatory extended term waived by the state as part of plea. 2014 case.

State v K D, Monmouth County Superior Court

12/7/2013

The defendant was arrested in Dec. of 2013 and later indicted and charged with one count of second degree unlawful possession a firearm (handgun), one count of third degree receipt of stolen property (stolen Highpoint 40 caliber handgun) and one count of third degree possession of CDS. The defendant's plea offer was 7 years New Jersey State Prison (NJSP) with 42 months of parole ineligibility. Case dismissed in September of 2014.

State v R S, Ocean County Superior Court

Defendant faced 88 years, received 8 years - 11/15/2013

The defendant was charged with multiple second degree sexual assault counts on behalf of five (5) child victims. Three of the victims were the defendant's grandchildren. The victims ranged between the ages of 6 and 14. The State possessed very compelling videotape evidence from some of the victims. Some of the victims were determined to be credible. A polygraph examination was administered to the defendant. The defendant faced a period of incarceration of 88 years in a New Jersey State Prison. In a negotiated plea, the defendant received 8 years New Jersey State Prison subject to the No Early Release Act or 85% rule and Megan's Law. This was a damage control plea which minimized the significant state prison exposure the defendant was facing. 2013 case.

State v J H, Monmouth County Superior Court

Defendant faced 50 years, received a Flat 4 year - 4/13/2012

The defendant was indicted on eight (8) counts by a Monmouth County Grand Jury. He was formally charged with two (2) counts of third degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance (cds-heroin and cocaine), two (2) counts of third degree possession of cds with the intent to distribute, two (2) counts of third degree possession of cds with the intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a school and two (2) counts of second degree possession of cds with the intent to distribute within 500 feet of a public park. The defendant faced 50 years and received a plea offer from the State of 10 years with 51 months of parole ineligibility. Defendant was also subject to a mandatory extended term as a result of prior cds distribution convictions. Illegal search and seizure by the police during a motor vehicle stop in this case. Compromise reached and State offered a flat five (5) year term in exchange for a guilty plea to one count of third degree possession of cds and two (2) motor vehicle offenses. Remaining 7 counts of the indictment for dismissal at sentencing. Defendant accepted amended plea deal. Clifford E. Lazzaro induced the Court at sentencing to impose a flat four (4) year term. 2011 Case.

State v B A, Monmouth County Superior Court

Defendant faced over 31 years, received 6 months - 2/3/2012

The defendant was indicted on four (4) counts by a Monmouth County Grand Jury. He was formally charged with one count of second degree possession of a weapon (handgun) for an unlawful purpose (he faced 10 years subject to 85 percent under NERA on this count), one count of second degree unlawful possession of a weapon, one count of fourth degree aggravated assault by pointing a firearm and one count of second degree certain persons not to have weapons (he faced 10 years with a mandatory minimum 5 year period of parole ineligibility on this charge alone) . The defendant had a significant prior criminal indictable history. The defendant was alleged to have fired several shots at the victim during an altercation on the street. The police recovered the handgun. No DNA or fingerprints of the defendant found on the weapon. No gunpowder residue found on the defendant who was arrested at the scene. In this case, the defendant was confronted by the victim at the victim's estranged wife's residence. The defendant was sleeping with the estranged wife of the victim at the time of the incident. The victim's estranged wife had a restraining order against the victim prohibiting him from going to the victim's home. The victim broke down the victim's front door (committing a burglary) and confronted the defendant who was naked and in bed. The defendant managed to run out of the residence and the victim chased the defendant for several blocks. It was suggested that the victim used his own gun to fire at the defendant and then tossed the weapon was into a yard after the police were called by the estranged wife. In a negotiated plea by Clifford E. Lazzaro, the defendant pled guilty to an amended charge of fourth degree hindering apprehension and received a six (6) month county jail sentence concurrent to a six (6) month sentence on a violation of probation on another indictable case. All remaining counts of the indictment dismissed at sentencing. 2011 case.

State v F G, Union County Superior Court.

Rape charge dismissed during trial - 3/25/2011

The defendant was charged with one count of second degree sexual assault. Defendant was subject to NERA (85%) sentencing between 5 and 10 years and Megan's Law sentencing. The defendant invited a party planner to his home to arrange a party. While at the defendant's home, the parties engaged in consensual sex. A few days after the incident, the victim filed a police report alleging rape. Both the victim's and defendant's DNA were found on the victim's clothing. The rape trial began in November, 2010. The State's first witness was subjected to a highly destructive cross-examination by Clifford E. Lazzaro. In the middle of trial, the State offered to amend (dismiss) the second degree sexual assault count to third degree terroristic threats with a recommendation for a probationary sentence. The Defendant accepted the amended probationary plea which no longer had NERA (85%) and Megan's Law consequences.

State v J S, Monmouth County Superior Court.

Received non-custodial, no jail probation - 11/10/2010

The defendant issued over $550,000.00 in Bad Checks to Monmouth Raceway Track. The checks were issued over a several month period of time. The defendant initially faced second degree sentencing exposure between 5 and 10 years in New Jersey State Prison (NJSP). The negotiated plea in August of 2010 amended the charge to one count of Issuing a Bad Check, a third degree offense. At sentencing in November of 2010, the defendant received non-custodial, no jail probation with the requirement that he make restitution of $2,000.00 per month over the course of a 5 year period of probation.

State v A E, Monmouth County Superior Court.

The defendant was facing 40 years & received 4 - 8/9/2010

The defendant was charged with three (3) counts in an indictment with first degree racketeering, first degree conspiracy to commit racketeering, and second degree witness tampering. The defendant faced NERA (85%) sentencing of 40 years on the first degree racketeering counts not including applicable extended terms. The negotiated plea at the end of June, 2010 resulted in dismissal of both of the first degree racketeering counts and a guilty plea to witness tampering as amended to a third degree offense. The defendant received a 4 year flat term New Jersey State Prison (NJSP). The defendant is alleged to be a four (4) star general in the Bloods Gang.

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  • Accused of a Crime?

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  • Matrimonial Issues

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