Hawthorne man Charged with Murder of Teenager

According to authorities, a Hawthorne man was charged with first-degree murder following an alleged attack on a teenager who later died from his injuries. Police say that 37 year-old Tyheem Jones was observed “breathing heavily and sweating profusely” near Auburn Street and Godwin Avenue in Paterson around 4am on Thursday. Police then found the 18 year-old victim, Nicolas Reyes on the ground bleeding from a wound on his head. Jones allegedly repeatedly punched and kicked Reyes for several minutes while also hitting him with a pistol. Reyes was taken to St. Joseph’s Medical Center in critical condition. At that time Jones was originally charged with attempted murder. On Friday, Reyes dies from his injuries and the charges were changed to first degree murder. Jones previously faced two attempted murder charges in 2007 and 2018. Click here to read more at www.northjersey.com.

Murder is codified under N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3, which provides:

Criminal homicide constitutes murder when:

  1. The actor purposely causes death or serious bodily injury resulting in death; or
  2. The actor knowingly causes death or serious bodily injury resulting in death; or
  3. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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 family member is charged with murder, you need to contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately. Former Morris County Prosecutor, Alissa D. Hascup is skilled and experienced at representing individuals charged with murder and she will fight to defend your rights in court. She is committed to ensuring you receive the best possible outcome for your case. Contact her office for a free consultation about your case. She is available 24/7 at 862-257-1200.