FLEMINGTON, NJ – Gary Passarelli, 42, formerly of North Plainfield, was sentenced Friday to 60 years in state prison by Judge Angela F. Borkowski.

In November, Passarelli was found guilty of first-degree murder, second-degree possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose and third-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance. 

Passarelli murdered John H. Niko in 2013. Raritan Township police found Niko’s body while conducting a welfare check at his Raritan Township home after he failed to show up for work. The Hunterdon County Medical Examiner determined the cause of death as blunt force trauma to the head and chest and multiple sharp force injuries.

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The sentencing was announced by Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony P. Kearns, III.

In a press release, Kearns said, “I would like to commend the law enforcement officers and detectives from the Flemington Borough Police Department, Raritan Township Police Department and the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office Investigative staff for the thorough and extensive investigation that led to the arrest and conviction of Mr. Passarelli. I would also like to thank First Assistant Prosecutor Deborah Factor and Assistant Prosecutor David Culley for their outstanding efforts. We are pleased with the sentence imposed by Judge Borkowski but we realize that it does not take away the heartache and grief of the family and friends of John Niko. We continue to extend our deepest condolences.”