Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino announced today that Carlos Rodriguez, 30, of Newark has been charged with aggravated manslaughter in connection with the death of Jennifer Riley, 26, of Newark.
On New Year’s Day, Newark Police responded to a 6:30 a.m. 911 call at a home on Delavan Street in Newark. When they arrived they found a non-responsive woman. She was transported to University Hospital where she was pronounced dead at 7:04 a.m.
The victim and the defendant were in a seven-year on-again, off-again romantic relationship.
Rodriguez was taken into custody and initially charged with aggravated assault. Autopsy results completed today concluded the death was a homicide. The cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma. Based on the autopsy findings the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office took steps to upgrade the charges to aggravated manslaughter.
Rodriguez’s bail was originally set at $150,000. Chief Executive Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Fennelly, who is in charge of the Homicide Unit, said the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office will ask that the amount of bail be increased based on the upgraded charges.
Rodriguez is currently being housed in the Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark.
These charges are mere accusations. All defendants are presumed to be innocent until they are proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.