SOMERVILLE, NJ. - Video surveillance footage and social media assisted in the arrest and subsequent conviciton of a Franklin Township man in the shooting death of an 18-year-old woman in Franklin on Aug. 9, 2017.
Tamar Reaves, of Park Street, Franklin Township was sentenced by Judge Kevin M. Shanahan on May 16th to 27 years in New Jersey State Prison, with 23 years to be served without parole, for his conviction for 1st degree aggravated manslaughter, 2nd degree possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose and 2nd degree unlawful possession of a handgun, according to Somerset County Michael H. Robertson.
Reaves’ conviction stems from a shooting that occurred at 7:50 a.m. on Aug. 9, on Battle Place in Franklin Township, according to Robertson, who provided the following account:
Reaves, aka “T-Mac,” followed his 18 year-old victim from a convenience store to her relative’s home, and shot her in the back of her neck with a 9mm handgun. Afterwards, Reaves fled to a friend’s home and ultimately went to his grandmother’s Franklin Township home.
Once there, he ordered a pizza and made several posts to various social media accounts, including a photo of the pizza, as well as a video of himself singing the lyrics of a song which mirrored the circumstances of the shooting he just committed.
Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Det. Randy Sidorski and Franklin Township Police Sgt. Kevin Fitzharris were assisted in solving this crime by local business owners and residents whose video surveillance systems recorded portions of the crime and who provided that video surveillance evidence to police.
Lt. Mark Pappas and Det. Brandt Gregus of the New Brunswick Police Department recognized defendant Reaves as the individual depicted in the surveillance video, and assisted in locating and arresting him that day.
In addition, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) assisted by providing information gathered during an unrelated investigation of Reaves which demonstrated that he possessed a 9mm handgun consistent with the handgun defendant used to commit the shooting.
On April 2, 2019, following extensive pretrial litigation, Reaves pled guilty to 1st degree aggravated manslaughter, 2nd degree possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose, and 2nd degree unlawful possession of a handgun pursuant to a plea agreement which called for him to be sentenced to 27 years in New Jersey State Prison, with a 23 year period of parole ineligibility.
Deputy First Assistant Prosecutor W. Brian Stack represented the State during these proceedings.