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Long Branch Man Charged in Asbury Park Murder

Ronald T. Daniels Jr. already faces charges in connection with a massive heroin ring sweep.

Ronald Daniels Jr. Credit: Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office
Ronald Daniels Jr. Credit: Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office
A Monmouth County grand jury indicted a Long Branch man Monday on charges stemming from a fatal shooting in Asbury Park in September 2012, the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office announced Tuesday.

Ronald T. Daniels Jr., 24, of Fourth Avenue, Highlands, and Whitmere Place, Long Branch, is charged in the seven-count indictment with murder, weapons possession, receiving stolen property and possession of hollow nose bullets.

Asbury Park police responded to a report of shots fired in the area of Asbury Park Village, near the intersection of Atkins Avenue and Heck Avenue around 10:08 p.m. on Sept. 1, 2012, according to the release. Police arrived to find bystanders performing emergency aid on 30-year-old Jerome Wright, who was lying in the courtyard area. Witnesses told police several shots were fired towards a group of people on Atkins Avenue. Wright was transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Shortly after the shooting, Neptune Township police officers approached a group of individuals on Monroe Avenue, recovering two handguns. A handgun recovered from Daniels proved to be the murder weapon, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office. Authorities said a second weapon was recovered from Shamere Reid, 20, of Myrtle Avenue in Neptune.

Reid was also indicted Monday on two weapons possession charges.

Daniels is being held at Monmouth County Correctional Institution on $2 million bail. He faces a minimum 30-year sentence, if convicted.

Daniels is one of 52 people charged in December 2012 as part of Operation Hats Off – an 8-month investigation targeting heroin trafficking in Monmouth and Ocean counties. 

This article includes earlier reporting by Christopher Sheldon.

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