Police & Fire

South Brunswick: Former Travel Girls Softball Coach Charged With Monmouth County Murder

68a5038475d81c3e672f_b8f116a136f8f5af0806_10218182-large.jpg
Murder suspect Andre Harris in a 2011 Somerset County Prosecutor's photo. Credits: Somerset County Prosecutor's 2011 Photo
68a5038475d81c3e672f_b8f116a136f8f5af0806_10218182-large.jpg

FREEHOLD, NJ – Former New Jersey Thunder girls travel softball coach Andre Harris, 32, is facing a murder rap in Monmouth County, officials said Wednesday.

A former North Brunswick resident now living in Long Branch, Monmouth County, Harris was charged Tuesday night with the first degree murder of Linden resident Tyrita Julius, 41, who disappeared March 8, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said during a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

Gramiccioni said that family members reported Julius missing after she failed to come home from a day visit with “a close” girlfriend, Jennifer Sweeney, 32, of Tinton Falls.

Sign Up for E-News

Sweeney, who is also charged with first degree murder, allegedly told police that she dropped Julius off at the Long Branch train station that evening, police said.

Subsequent investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Union County Prosecutor’s Office, Linden Police Department, Tinton Falls Police Department, Long Branch Police and New Jersey Transit eventually led authorities to Harris’s home in Long Branch where investigators discovered Julius’s body buried in the backyard Tuesday, police said.

An autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday, but Gramiccioni said it may be some days before the cause of death is announced.

“Significant efforts were made to bring us to the discovery we all feared – Tyrita Julius died a tragic death,” he said. “Tyrita was not dropped off at the Long Branch Train Station, instead Tyrita was murdered.”

Other than saying that Sweeney and Julius were “close” friends that did spend time together, Gramiccioni did not go into the possible motive for the killing or the relationship between Sweeney and Harris.

“That will be presented through the course of the case,” he said.

Union County Prosecutor Grace Park said that both Sweeney and Harris are also charged with the attempted murder of Julius in November, when she was shot close to her home in Linden.

Police were called on Nov. 24 after Julius and a teenage female passenger were both shot in their vehicle.

Julius spent several weeks in the hospital recovering from her injuries, Park said, but had not apparently had the chance to speak with law enforcement before going missing in March.

At that point, the two investigations converged leading to Tuesday night’s gruesome discovery.

In addition to the murder charge, Harris and Sweeney both face conspiracy, attempted murder, desecration of human remains and obstructing justice counts.

Gramiccioni said that the investigation is continuing and did not rule out further charges or arrests.

The pair are currently jailed on a combined bail of $2 million cash each from both counties, police said.

Harris was the coach of the New Jersey Thunder girls travel softball team until 2011 when he was charged with credit card fraud, paying some $10,000 to hotels for team rooms as well as payments to T-Mobile and Cablevision using a California woman’s credit card, Former Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey Soriano said at the time.

Then 28 and a resident of North Brunswick, Harris allegedly used the stolen Discover card to pay for rooms for the team at the Swan and Dolphin Hotel in Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida between July 1-Aug. 1, 2011, police said.

The South Brunswick based teams, made up of girls aged between 13-23, participated in a tournament at the time of the charges, police said.

TAP Into South Brunswick and Cranbury was not able to find out the disposition of that former case as of Wednesday evening.

\

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

East Brunswick

Vets4Warriors Gives Struggling Veterans a Lifeline

February 18, 2018

Fatima Aguilar’s first day on the job at Vets4Warriors was anything but normal. A military veteran who’s currently enlisted as a Second Lieutenant with the New Jersey National Guard, she found herself in a potential suicide crisis situation as soon as she hit the phones.

“I started around three and a half years ago on the overnight shift, and my very first call was a US ...

South Brunswick: Volunteer Soccer Coach Charged With Possessing And Distributing Child Pornography

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – A volunteer youth soccer coach and former Sunday school teacher is charged with possessing and distributing child pornography, officials said Thursday.

FBI agents and local law enforcement arrested Waldo Milla-Guerra, 49, at his Kendall Park home Thursday morning after executing a search warrant, officials said.

Milla-Guerra, a volunteer soccer coach with the ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

Guest Column

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The ...

Giving Back: Learn How to Help Victims of Sexual Violence

February 22, 2018

Every year since 1984, trained volunteers with the Union County Rape Crisis Center have helped victims of sexual violence through the emotional, medical and legal aftermath of trauma. New volunteers are welcome to join the next series of training classes beginning on Thursday, March 22.

No previous experience in crisis counseling is necessary.

“Over the years our Rape Crisis Center ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, March 4, 3:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick

Staatskapelle Weimar

Arts & Entertainment

Fri, March 23, 8:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey , New Brunswick

Motown the Musical

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, April 7, 2:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick

A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder

Arts & Entertainment

East Brunswick Public Library Holds South Asian Community Day of Wellness

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ— On Saturday, March 3, Cancer Support Community Central NJ Jersey (CSCCNJ) will be hosting a Day of Wellness at the East Brunswick Public Library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center, ). This program is part of CSCCNJ’s South Asian outreach initiative, which is made possible by the Shri Krishna Nidhi (SKN) Foundation.

The Day of Wellness is being offered at no ...

Library Hosts Program On Joint Replacement Surgery

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—East Brunswick Public Library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center) and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital partner to present the special medical program “Considering Total Joint Replacement in 2018” at the library on Tuesday, March 6 at 7 pm.

Lead by board certified orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Stephen Kayiaros, the program gives a brief overview of arthritis of ...

Prayers the Devil Answers by Sharyn McCrumb

Prayers the Devil Answers by Sharyn McCrumb (Altria, 2015)

 

Years later, after the tragedy, someone remembered the Dumb Supper and what had happened there. That was the cause of it, they said, because the ritual wasn't a game after all. It really was magic, but magic has rules, and she broke them. Even when they call it a 'senseless tragedy,' people always try to find a ...

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper with Danny Pellegrino (St. Martin's Press, 2017)

It's hard to go on a serious diet, one on which you expect to be successful and maintain a loss. Fortunately, in his new book Super Carb Diet, Bob Harper has given the weight watching world a sensible new diet plan to help achieve a healthy weight.

Harper, host of NBC's popular show The Biggest Loser, ...

EBPD: Safeguarding Students, Staff, and Residents in the Public Schools

February 20, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - The East Brunswick Police Department, in cooperation with the East Brunswick Board of Education, will be assisting the school security staff by providing police officers at our township public schools. It is the goal of the East Brunswick Police Department and the East Brunswick Board of Education to safeguard our students, staff and residents at our schools on a daily basis ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...