††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††† *News
Release*†††††††††††††††† Date: January 11, 2013
†††††††††††††††††† †††† Middlesex
County Prosecutorís Office
††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††† *News Release*†††††††††††††††† Date: January 11, 2013
Man pleads guilty in South Plainfield homicide
††††††††† Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan announced that
††††††††† James R. Thomas (DOB 5/11/75) pleaded guilty to a count of
aggravated manslaughter in the death on June 28, 2012, of William Koonz, Jr.,
Thomas pleaded guilty under an agreement reached with Deputy First Assistant Prosecutor Christopher L. C. Kuberiet.
the terms of the agreement, Thomas will be sentenced to serve 22 years in a
Thomas and his mother, Shelley A. Thomas, (DOB 3/4/59) also †of Plainfield, were arrested and charged on July 1, 2012, during an investigation by Detective Gary Cassio of the South Plainfield Police Department and Investigator Jeffrey Temple of the Middlesex County Prosecutorís Office.
Shelley A. Thomas remains in custody and is awaiting trial. No trial date has been set.
The investigation began after South Plainfield Police responded to a request from a family member to check on the welfare of Mr. Koonz.
Police discovered the homicide when they arrived at 124 Merchants Ave. An autopsy performed by the Middlesex County Medical Examinerís Office determined that Mr. Koonz died of blunt force trauma to the head and was a victim of homicide.
The investigation showed that James R. Thomas and Mr. Koonz were prior acquaintances and that Mr. Koonz was not the victim of a random act.
Assisting with the investigation were members of the Plainfield Police Department and the New Jersey State Police.
As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charge against Shelley A. Thomas is an accusation and she remains innocent until proven guilty.