New Jersey woman pleads guilty to murder of landlord, authorities say

New Jersey woman pleads guilty to murder of landlord, authorities say

A New Jersey woman accused of bludgeoning her landlord in 2020 has pleaded guilty to criminal charges, prosecutors say.

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A woman used a shower curtain rod and “several” other household objects to beat her landlord and his roommate to death, New Jersey prosecutors said.

Mary Carbone, 60, pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter Monday, July 8, more than four years after she was accused of bludgeoning Frank Stochel, 55, in the home they shared in Toms River, according to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.

Carbone was initially charged with murder, but prosecutors reduced the charge due to “legitimate evidentiary issues” during the investigation, prosecutors said in a news release.

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Officers were called to the home on Feb. 24, 2020, about an unresponsive man, prosecutors said. They found Stochel “lifeless” on the floor, and his death was later ruled a homicide.

A health worker was investigating a complaint filed earlier in the day when they made the gruesome discovery, the Asbury Park Press reported, citing Ocean County Prosecutor Meghan O’Neill.

“The medical examiner describes this as a prolonged period of what, in my opinion, could ultimately amount to torture,” O’Neill told the court in 2020, according to the newspaper.

Prosecutors said Carbone used several objects in the attack on Stochel, including a wooden board, a heavy-duty duct tape dispenser and a shower curtain rod.

“The injuries sustained by Mr. Stochel were consistent with the implementation of these elements,” according to the prosecution.

It was the shower curtain rod, covered in bloody fingerprints and hidden in a trash bag, that led to Carbone’s arrest in March 2021, NJ Advance Media reported, citing an affidavit. She has been in jail ever since.

According to the outlet, numerous incidents of domestic violence were reported at Stochel’s home in the year before her death.

Prosecutors said they are seeking a 10-year sentence for Carbone in New Jersey State Prison.

She is scheduled to be sentenced on September 13, the office said.

Toms River is located approximately 40 miles southeast of Trenton.

If you are experiencing domestic violence and need someone to talk to, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or text “START” to 88788.

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Tanasia is a national real-time reporter based in Atlanta covering news in Georgia, Mississippi, and the Southeast. Her focus is retail and consumer news. She is an alumna of Kennesaw State University and joined McClatchy in 2020.