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

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_f9271be7c50b3bea46af_open_house_roselle

Wed, July 25, 9:00 AM

Durham School Services School Bus, Roselle

Hiring Event Open House Durham School Services ...

Business & Finance

Carousel_image_c78b21e6ed44eb79278a_burned_out

Wed, July 25, 7:00 PM

Cranford United Methodist Church, Cranford

Wednesday Night Prayer Time at Cranford United ...

Religions And Spirituality

Carousel_image_574768912fb23a4cacc7_bfeb2b8d2a5b0913fb60_2f2194e6f686708fbbc3_pd_fd_bbq

Sat, July 28, 12:00 PM

Clark Recreation Center, Clark

Clark PD vs Clark FD BBQ Cook-Off

Food & Drink Police & Fire

“Family Fun & Flix” in Warinanco Park Tuesday, July 24 Featuring “Peter Rabbit"

July 20, 2018

Family Fun & Flix, a free summer entertainment and film series presented by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and Union County Department of Parks and Recreation, continues on Tuesday, July 24 with the presentation of “Peter Rabbit” at Warinanco Park, on the border of Elizabeth and Roselle. 

As part of the evening’s events, UC Get Fit, a health initiative ...

Residents Taking Action Against White Supremacist Fliers Found Around Bridgewater, Bedminster, Other Local Areas

July 18, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Residents of Bridgewater, Somerville, Morristown and surrounding communities are mobilizing for action after they found posters around town promoting Identity Evropa, which the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has labeled a white supremacist group.

According to Bridgewater resident Stacey Friedlander, a member of the “Not In Our Town – Bridgewater/Raritan” ...

"Tired of Cronyism? Yeah, us too!"

July 19, 2018

The Union County Freeholders’ decision to appoint State Senator and newly-elected Union County

Democratic Chairman, Nick Scutari’s chief of staff, Ed Oatman as County Manager smelled of corruption

from the start. To place a political consultant like Oatman in the role of overseeing 2,800 employees and

running the day-to-day operations of the $500 million county budget ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.

 

 

Obituaries

Jun 29, 1927 - Apr 23, 2018
Margaret (Peggy) Kirk Leonard passed away Monday, April 23rd, surrounded by her loved ones. Peggy ...
Read more