“Toms River Woman Admits to Manslaughter Charge”

Toms River, NJ – Samantha Massimino, a 36-year-old resident of Toms River, pled guilty to Manslaughter on May 1, 2023, in the death of 35-year-old Reinaldo Feliciano Jr., also from Toms River. The plea was made before Honorable Guy P. Ryan, P.J.Cr.P. The State will seek a sentence of seven years of imprisonment at the time of the sentencing on July 7, 2023, subject to the No Early Release Act.

The Toms River Township Police Officers responded to a 911 call made on October 24, 2020, requesting emergency services for a male victim who was stabbed. Upon reaching the scene, the responding officers found Feliciano Jr. with a stab wound to his leg. An investigation undertaken by the Major Crime Unit of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, Toms River Township Police Detective Bureau, and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit revealed that Massimino and Feliciano Jr., who were previously in a dating relationship, got involved in a physical altercation at the residence. During the argument, Massimino retrieved a knife, which she used to stab Feliciano Jr. in the leg. Feliciano Jr. was taken to Community Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries at approximately 4:45 a.m. Massimino was taken into custody at the scene and has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since her arrest.

Prosecutor Billhimer has praised the exceptional and collaborative efforts of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit, Toms River Township Police Department, Toms River Township Police Detective Bureau, and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit leading to Massimino’s guilty plea. Senior Assistant Prosecutor Jamie Schron will handle the case on behalf of the State.

In another development, on January 19, 2021, the New Jersey Attorney General has proposed legislation to align juvenile parole responsibilities with the Juvenile Justice Commission in a bid to end the disparity in the handling of cases of the state’s youngest offenders. The proposal is contained in new regulations to be implemented by the Juvenile Justice Commission aimed at enhancing juvenile offender rehabilitative services. New Jersey’s existing guidelines require the Juvenile Parole Board to administer parole supervision for juvenile offenders, while adult offenders’ parole responsibility rests with the State Parole Board. The proposed rules would allow the Juvenile Justice Commission to exclusively provide rehabilitative services to juvenile offenders, which would include transitioning them back into society after serving their sentences.

Further, in a piece of shocking news, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office has reported that the number of opioid deaths in the county remains high, despite a decrease in overdose deaths reported in 2021 compared to 2020. According to data released by the Prosecutor’s Office and the Ocean County Health Department, Ocean County experienced a total of 236 overdose deaths in 2021, down from 303 in 2020. However, opioid-related deaths remain high, accounting for 80.06% of overdose deaths, with fentanyl identified in almost all cases. The Prosecutor’s Office intends to reinforce its efforts with law enforcement and community partners to curb and combat the opioid epidemic.

Finally, with the rise of environmentally conscious products, Ocean County is set to hold an electronic recycling event in June, providing an opportunity for residents to dispose of official electronic waste. The event was initially slated for April, but authorities postponed it due to the pandemic’s impact. Residents can bring old televisions, phones, and computers, among other electronics, for recycling.

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