Dante Strong, 18, of Long Branch was charged with the murder of Adrian Anderson, 23, also of Long Branch, yesterday according to a statement released by Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
Officers from the Long Branch Police Department were in the area of Central Avenue and Liberty Street in Long Branch around 2:29 a.m. on September 21, 2013, when they heard gunshots. Officers responding to the sounds of gunfire and were flagged down by several people at 135 Liberty Street, where they found the victim on the front porch, unconscious and bleeding from several gunshot wounds. The victim was taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune Township, where he was pronounced dead at 5:22 a.m., despite the efforts made to save his life by medical personnel.
A joint investigation was launched by the Long Branch Police Department and the Monmouth County Prosecutors Office. During the course of the investigation, Strong was linked to an armed robbery the morning prior to the shooting, near the intersection of Central Avenue and Ellis Avenue in Long Branch, less than one block from where the victim was killed.
Strong was arrested in connection with the Sept. 20, 2013 robbery on October 3, 2013, when he was charged with two counts of Armed Robbery, Possession of a Firearm for an Unlawful Purpose, and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm. He was lodged in MCCI on $600,000 cash only bail, as set by Judge Richard W. English. Judge English set Strong’s bail on the murder charges at $850,000, cash only.
A September report of Anderson’s death by News12 said that Anderson was shot 5 times outside his aunt’s Liberty St. home and that his father, David Byrd, witness the shooting.
Byrd says his son had been at the house to help his aunt and got into an argument with a group of what Byrd says were gang members.
Byrd says police responded two separate times to break up the fight, but after police left, the shooter returned and killed Anderson.
A September 21 NJ.com report said that Anderson worked at Monmouth Park and quoted his landlord, James Perry, as saying that the shooting occurred after a fist fight earlier in the day.
“He was a nice kid, and he worked hard,” Perry said. “He didn’t deserve what happened to him.”
Perry said Anderson was a quiet man who had recently gotten into a disagreement with another city resident.
“I heard that he and a boy had a dispute, and it led to fisticuffs,” Perry said. “Adrian beat him, but I guess he didn’t let it go, he came back and shot him in the back.”
If convicted of murder, Strong faces a sentence of 30 years to life in a New Jersey state prison, be subject to the provisions of the No Early Release Act (NERA). NERA requires that a defendant serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed in excess of 30 years prior to becoming eligible for parole.