Law & Justice

Union Man Convicted on All Charges in 2013 Murder, Dismemberment of Cranford Girlfriend

3495e25adf4edda8798f_aa1f86d63d281333c83b_mini_magick20171018-3721-7i574v.jpg
3495e25adf4edda8798f_aa1f86d63d281333c83b_mini_magick20171018-3721-7i574v.jpg

UNION, NJ – A Union man was found guilty on all charges in the case of the murder and dismemberment of his girlfriend nearly four years ago, acting Union County Prosecutor Thomas K. Isenhour announced Wednesday.

The jury convicted Matthew Ballister III, 47, of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree desecration of human remains, third-degree hindering apprehension, and several other related charges in connection with the death of 43-year-old April Wyckoff of Cranford.  The verdict was reached after a brief period of jury deliberation Wednesday morning following a six-week trial before state Superior Court Judge Stuart Peim.

Ballister was arrested and charged with murder on Oct. 24, 2013 – two days after Wyckoff had died at his hands, according to Union County assistant prosecutors Scott Peterson and Jillian Reyes, who prosecuted the case.

Sign Up for E-News

Three days after the arrest, following an intensive search involving more than 200 municipal, county and state law-enforcement representatives combing through multiple areas in Essex, Hudson, and Union counties, human remains were recovered on Raymond Avenue near the Pulaski Skyway in Newark and positively identified as belonging to Wyckoff, Peterson and Reyes said. The rest of her body was never found.

Union County Medical Examiner Dr. Junaid Shaikh testified at trial that dozens of sharp- and blunt-force pre-mortem injuries were inflicted on Wyckoff’s head and legs prior to Ballister running her over with his Hummer in the driveway of his home on the 300 block of Mercer Avenue in Union. According to the prosecutor’s office, during the 12 hours that followed, Ballister disposed of Wyckoff’s body, abandoned her car in Newark, purchased approximately $75 in cleaning products at the Home Depot in Watchung and returned home to start cleaning.

“There are no words to fully and accurately describe the depths of depravity associated with this crime,” Isenhour said. “We hope that today’s verdict lends some degree of solace and closure to the friends and family of April Wyckoff.”

Ballister spent the four years leading up to trial lodged in Union County Jail on $5.5 million bail. His mother, 74-year-old Eleanor Schofield of Mountainside, remains charged with fourth-degree hindering apprehension for allegedly interfering with the investigation by attempting to assist in his efforts to conceal evidence of the crime.

Sentencing in the case has been scheduled for Friday, December 15, 2017 before Judge Peim, at which time Ballister will face a term of up to life in state prison without parole.

In its press release, the Prosecutor’s Office thanked the Union Police Department, Union County Sheriff’s Office, Union County Emergency Response Team, Cranford Police Department, Mountainside Police Department, United States Park Police, New Jersey National Guard, New Jersey State Police, New Jersey State Park Police, Bergen County Sheriff’s Office, Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, Jersey City Police Department, Newark Police Department, Perth Amboy Police Department, and members of the 109th graduating class of the John H. Stamler Police Academy for assisting in the investigation and search for Ms. Wyckoff’s body.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Clark

Mark Zuckerberg Should Be Concerned About His Legacy; Punishing Legitimate Media Organizations and Small Businesses Isn’t the Answer; Regulation Is

Facebook recently announced it will be changing its feed and algorithms so that news from publishers and posts from businesses will be relegated in favor of posts about your neighbor’s cat. 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook is making these changes because he is concerned about his legacy and that of the company he founded. If ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_2fd27e9a9f89b30e01a0_mini_magick20180115-9314-1kp5vy8

Fri, January 26, 3:30 PM

Clark Public Library , Clark

Teen Tech Help

Carousel_image_248cea245b872fb9c722_resolve_house

Fri, February 2, 12:00 PM

Resolve, Scotch Plains

Free Teen Anxiety Group (Ages 14-17) at Resolve

Carousel_image_d958e050b763fdd24aa7_chicken_tortilla_soup

Sat, February 3, 10:00 AM

Cranford United Methodist Church, Cranford

Soup-er Bowl Soup and Chili Fest

Food & Drink

G.B. Architect LLC – Who We Are and What We Do

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself and my architectural practice located here in Clark.  I am the Principal and founder of G.B. Architect LLC.  I started my practice in 2005 and moved to Clark in the summer of 2016.  As we head into the New Year, I look forward to making and establishing new relationships with the community of Clark. 

My experience in ...

Kindergarten Registration is Coming Soon for Clark Public Schools

January 19, 2018

KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION

Registration for the Clark Public School District Full-day Kindergarten Program will take place on the following days:

Thursday, February 22, 2018 – FRANK K. HEHNLY SCHOOL

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 – VALLEY ROAD SCHOOL

Registration will be between 9:00 A.M. and 10:00 A.M.  Registration forms are being sent out to all eligible students.  ...

Organizing Your Goals for 2018

Is it time to take hold of a plan for the new year?   You can start by organizing and setting goals for 2018.

Financial Goals: Take a look at your financial goals for the new year. Organize your budget and make a plan to eliminate debt and to save for short and long term goals. Maybe 2018 will be the right time to buy a home or sell and downsize. 

Household Goals: Getting ...

Dog Found in Roselle Still Being Held at Newark Shelter

January 15, 2018

ROSELLE, NJ - A dog that was found on January 9, is still being held at the Newark Animal Shelter because no owner has claimed him. 

Roselle Police said the dog was found in the area of the Roselle side of Warinanco Park. The dog has a distinct blue eye and brown eye. Police also said the animal was checked and had no chip or tags. 

The Newark Animal Shelter ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 010

On this week’s AtlantiCast, we take you to the groundbreaking for an expansion to Morristown Medical Center, introduce you to the newest babies of 2018 at Atlantic Health System and share some must-see winter weather tips!

 

Obituaries

- Dec 16, 2017
On Saturday December 16, 2017, Mark Warszawa, husband, father and son, passed away suddenly at the ...
Read more
South Plainfield - Susan M. Sutton, 51, died Tuesday September 19, 2017 at Robert Wood Johnson ...
Read more