According to authorities, a 73 year-old Mahwah man was arrested after stabbing his wife in their townhouse on Indian Field Court. Police were called to the townhouse at around 7:45am. When they arrived they allegedly observed Dieter Zimmerman with several scratches and a bleeding cut on a finger. Police also allegedly discovered Zimmerman’s 69 year-old wife, Jaquelin on the floor of a bathroom upstairs. Jaquelin allegedly had several stab wounds in the upper body. Zimmerman allegedly told police that he had stabbed his wife about an hour ago with a butcher block knife and he claimed to have been depressed. Jaquelin Zimmerman was pronounced dead at the scene. Dieter Zimmerman was charged with murder and weapons possession and was sent to the Bergen County Jail. Click here to read more at dailyvoice.com.
Murder, a crime of the first degree, is the most serious under our Criminal Code. Murder is codified under N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3, which provides:
Criminal homicide constitutes murder when:
- The actor purposely causes death or serious bodily injury resulting in death; or
- The actor knowingly causes death or serious bodily injury resulting in death; or
- It is committed when the actor, acting either alone or with one or more other persons, is engaged in the commission of, or an attempt to commit, or flight after committing or attempting to commit robbery, sexual assault, arson, burglary, kidnapping, carjacking, criminal escape or terrorism, and in the course of such crime or of immediate flight therefrom, any person causes the death of a person other than one of the participants;
EXCEPTIONS: in any prosecution under this subsection, in which the defendant was not the only participant in the underlying crime, it is an affirmative defense that the defendant:
- Did not commit the homicidal act or in any way solicit, request, command, importune, cause or aid the commission thereof; and
- Was not armed with a deadly weapon, or any instrument, article or substance readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury and or a sort not ordinarily carried in public places by law-abiding persons; and
- Had no reasonable ground to believe that any other participant was armed with such a weapon, instrument, article or substance; and
- Had no reasonable ground to believe that any other participant intended to engage in conduct likely to result in death or serious physical injury.
Penalties for Homicide/Murder in New Jersey
Murder is a crime of the first degree – the most serious under our Criminal Code. Normally, a crime of the first degree is punishable by a period of between 10 to 20 years in New Jersey State Prison. However, a person convicted of the crime of Murder is subject to a sentence of 30 years to life, with a minimum of 30 years that must be served before the person is eligible for parole. Notably, there are a number of circumstances that will subject a person to a sentence of life without parole including:
- If the victim was a law enforcement officer and was murdered while performing his official duties or was murdered because of his status as a law enforcement officer.
- If the victim was less than 14 years old and the act was committed in the course of the commission, whether alone or with one or more persons, of an act of Sexual Assault or Criminal Sexual Contact.
There are also certain circumstances that mandate serving the sentence in a maximum security prison.
If you or a loved one is charged with murder, you need to contact a criminal defense attorney immediately, because your freedom is at stake. Former Morris County Prosecutor, Alissa D. Hascup is skilled and experienced at defending individuals charged with murder and she is committed to ensuring your rights are protected in court. Contact her office for a free consultation about your case. She is available 24/7 at 862-257-1200.