†††††††††††††††††† †††† Middlesex County Prosecutorís Office

††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††† 25 Kirkpatrick Street, 3rd Floor, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 08901 (732) 745-3300


††††††††††††††††††††††† †††† *News Release*†††††††††††††††† Date: April 8, 2011








Man pleads guilty; co-defendant charged in 2006 homicide


Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan announced that a New Brunswick man pleaded guilty today to a count of aggravated manslaughter, admitting he pushed a man who fell down a flight of concrete steps and died.


In addition, an accomplice, Jesus Tejada (DOB 3/10/78) was charged on April 7, 2011, with felony murder after Investigator Rodney Blount and Lt. Ivan Scott, both of the Middlesex County Prosecutorís Office, determined that Tejada played a role in an attempted robbery that resulted in the death of Francisco Urbina Serrano, 57, of New Brunswick.


Tejada, who was deported to the Dominican Republic in 2009, remains at large, but would be arrested on the felony murder charge if he returns to the U.S.


Under a plea agreement reached with Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Neil J. Casey, Jesse Belliard (DOB 1/31/89) of New Brunswick admitted pushing Mr. Serrano during the robbery attempt on February 26, 2006, in New Brunswick.


As part of the plea agreement, Belliard will be imprisoned for 10 to 15 years when he is sentenced on June 20, 2011 by Superior Court Judge Glenn Berman in the Middlesex County Courthouse in New Brunswick.


Belliard was arrested and charged in 2006 following the investigation by Blount, who, at the time, was a detective in the New Brunswick Police Department, and Scott, then an investigator with the Middlesex County Prosecutorís Office.


The investigation began after police were called at 12:30 a.m. on February 26, 2006, to an alley between 175 and 179 Hale Street, in New Brunswick.


Mr. Serrano was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, and died on February 27, 2006, at 5:45 p.m.


An autopsy by the Middlesex County Medical Examinerís Office concluded that Mr. Serrano died from head injuries.


The investigation determined that Tejada waited outside a bar for Mr. Serrano to emerge, and convinced Belliard to help rob the victim.


As Mr. Serrano walked toward his home on Hale Street, Belliard, who was 17 years old at the time, stopped the victim and then pushed him down the concrete steps, causing Mr. Serrano to strike his head.


Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Investigator Blount, or Lt. Scott at the Middlesex County Prosecutorís Office at (732) 745-3300.


As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charge against Tejada is merely an accusation and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.