Police & Fire

Second Murder Charge for Man Accused of Killing Montclair Woman

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NEWARK, NJ - Khalil Wheeler-Weaver, the 20-year-old man accused of killing college student Sarah Butler, has been charged with a second murder, prosecutors announced Friday.

Wheeler-Weaver, of Orange, has been charged with murder in connection with the death of Joanne Brown of Newark, according to a release from Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray.

The body of Joanne Brown, age 33, was found on Dec. 5 in a vacant house in the 300 block of Highland Avenue in Orange. The cause of death was asphyxiation and the death was ruled a homicide, according to Murray. After an investigation by the Prosecutor's Homicide Task Force, Wheeler-Weaver was charged with one count of Murder and one count of Disturbing Human Remains.

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This is the second murder charge for Wheeler-Weaver, who was arrested on Tues., Dec. 6 and charged with Murder in connection with the death of Butler, age 20, of Montclair, whose body was discovered in Eagle Rock Reservation on December 1.

The new charges against Wheeler-Weaver were filed on Friday, Dec. 16, according to Chief Assistant Prosecutor Thomas S. Fennelly, of the Prosecutor's Homicide Squad. Bail was set at $5,000,000 by the Honorable John Gizzo, J.S.C.

Wheeler-Weaver continues to be held in the Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark. The arraignment of Wheeler-Weaver is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 20, before the Honorable Ronald J. Wigler, P.J. Cr., according to the release from the Essex County Prosecutor's office.

The investigations into the deaths of Brown and Butler are continuing, according to Fennelly. At this time, there is no indication that the victims knew each other.

Charges against Wheeler-Weaver are merely accusations; he is presumed innocent at this time. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the Prosecutor's Tips Line at (877) 847-7432.

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