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Friday, July 25, 2014

Wharton Woman Charged with Sexual Assault of Juvenile

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp announces that Whitney Ball, 25 years old, of Wharton, New Jersey, has been charged with one count of First Degree Aggravated Sexual Assault, two counts of Second Degree Sexual Assault, and two counts of Third Degree Endangering the Welfare of Children.

Defendant is alleged to have engaged in multiple acts of digital penetration, and the defendant is also alleged to have engaged in multiple acts of sexual contact with a victim who was approximately 8 years old when the acts occurred. The victim alleged that the defendant would promise her candy and then would sexually assault her. The acts are alleged to have occurred in Wharton, New Jersey between June 1, 2013 and September 1, 2013. The victim also alleged that the defendant punched and kicked her in the stomach on multiple occasions. Those acts are alleged to have occurred between June 1, 2013 and April 30, 2014.

Defendant was arrested on July 24, 2014, and charged with one count of First Degree Aggravated Sexual Assault, two counts of Second Degree Sexual Assault, and two counts of Third Degree Endangering the Welfare of Children.

The investigation was handled by Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Detective James Bruno, Detective Marshall Wang and Det. Jazmin Munoz-Felder.

The Honorable Robert Gilson, J.S.C. set bail at $150,000 cash, bond or property without a 10 percent option, along with the condition that there be no contact with the victim and no unsupervised contact with children under the age of 16. The defendant is currently lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility.

Anyone with information relating to these charges is urged to contact Detective James Bruno at the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes/Child Endangerment Unit at 973-285-6200.

Prosecutor Knapp would like to thank the members of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes/Child Endangerment Unit whose efforts contributed to this arrest.

A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. Despite this accusation, the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until he or she has been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Any inquiries can be directed to First Assistant Morris County Prosecutor Thomas Zelante at 973-285-6252 or tzelante@co.morris.nj.us.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Denville Man Found Guilty of the Murder of His Ex-Wife

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp announces that a Morris County Jury found Anthony F. Novellino, 67 years old, of Denville, New Jersey guilty of the June 19, 2010 murder of his ex-wife, Judith Novellino. The jury also found him guilty of Possession of a Weapon for Unlawful Purposes, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, Hindering Own Apprehension and Tampering with Physical Evidence. 

The jury returned its verdict after approximately three hours of deliberations. Executive Assistant Prosecutor Maggie Calderwood and Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Tia Manochio represented the State in the trial which had commenced on July 7, 2014. 

On June 8, 2010 the divorce between Judith Novellino and the defendant, Anthony Novellino was finalized. On June 19, 2010, Judith Novellino was at the former marital home, located at 16 Cliffside Trail in Denville, packing some of her belongings in an effort to move out of the home. The defendant arrived at the home and then stabbed his ex-wife 84 times in the bathroom of the residence. 

After stabbing Judith Novellino to death, the defendant retrieved a pig mask from a hallway closet and placed it over her face. He then washed off the knife he used and hid it underneath the staircase leading to the lower level of the home. The defendant also discarded the bloody shoes he was wearing in a garbage bag that he threw out during his flight from the scene. The defendant was apprehended on June 24, 2010 in Puyallup, Washington where he had fled to meet a woman he had been communicating with on-line for several years.

The defendant faces 30 years to life in State Prison for the guilty verdict on the charge of murder and an additional 13 years on the other charges.         

Prosecutor Knapp stated, “Justice has been served by the jury’s swift and decisive verdict. Hopefully, Judy Novellino’s family can now have some sense of solace that the defendant was convicted of this heinous crime. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Judy’s surviving family members and friends. My personal thanks to Maggie Calderwood, Tia Manochio, Steve Wilson, Paul Nigro and everyone else involved in this prosecution.” 

Prosecutor Knapp thanks Chief Christopher Wagner, Captain Paul Nigro, Sgt. Scott Welsch and the Denville Police Department; Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Captain Stephen Wilson and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit; the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Section; and the Morris County Medical Examiner’s Office whose efforts contributed to this result.

The Honorable Robert J. Gilson, J.S.C. presided. The defendant remains in the custody of the Morris County Correctional Facility pending sentencing which is scheduled for September 12, 2014.

Any inquiries can be directed to First Assistant Morris County Prosecutor Thomas Zelante at 973-285-6252 or tzelante@co.morris.nj.us.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Netcong Bank Robbery

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric Knapp and the Borough of Netcong Police Chief James Blesson announce an active investigation into a bank robbery that occurred on July 11, 2014 in the Borough of Netcong, New Jersey.

At approximately 12:57 p.m., a report of a bank robbery was made involving an incident that occurred at the Fulton Bank located at 9 Ledgewood Avenue, Netcong, New Jersey.   

Surveillance footage located nearby the bank revealed several images of the suspect. He can be further described as light skinned male, wearing what appears to be jeans and a long sleeved shirt. The suspect appears to be operating a sedan vehicle consistent with a Chevrolet Cobalt or Cruze with no front license plate.      

Numerous law enforcement agencies have responded and are currently investigating, including the Major Crimes Unit of the Morris County Prosecutor's Office, the Netcong Police Department, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Section and the Federal Bureau of Investigations. 

Anyone with information about this incident, including the identity of this male, is asked to call the Major Crimes Unit of the Morris County Prosecutor's Office at 973-285-6200, the Netcong Police Department at 973-347-7700 or Crimestoppers at 973-267-2255.




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