by Charles Webster, MCPO
FREEHOLD-Two Long Branch men pleaded guilty to charges of Attempted Murder after admitting they fired multiple shots into a vehicle at a West Long Branch hotel in 2017, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni. Due to their prior criminal convictions, both men face a potential sentence of Life in a New Jersey state prison.
Rayshawn Jones, 27, of Long Branch, and Michael Seward, 30, of Long Branch, each pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of first degree Attempted Murder, two counts of second degree Aggravated Assault, one count each of second degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, second degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, second degree Certain Persons Not to Have Weapons, and fourth degree Refusal to Provide a DNA Sample. The pleas were entered on the eve of trial and encompass all charges brought against the defendants by the State for their roles in the shooting outside of the LaQuinta Inn in West Long Branch on January 13, 2017.
A joint investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and West Long Branch Police Department determined Jones and Seward each fired multiple shots into a GMC Yukon striking the two Long Branch men sitting in the vehicle. Both defendants then fled the area on foot before encountering police a short time later. The shooting was captured on a nearby surveillance camera. The victims were both transported to Monmouth Medical Center where they were treated and released for their respective injuries.
While pleading guilty before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Richard W. English, Jones and Seward both admitted firing multiple shots into the vehicle with the intent to kill the two occupants. In response to questioning from Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutor Joshua D. Detzky, Rayshawn Jones also admitted he was a member of the Fruit Town Brims set of the violent Bloods criminal street gang.
Due to their prior criminal records, both men face a potential sentence of Life in prison when they return for sentencing before Judge English on May 4, 2018.
The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Joshua D. Detzky.
Jones is represented by Shane Paugh, Esq., of Middletown, and Seward is represented by Carlos Diaz-Cobo, Esq., of New Brunswick.