MONTVILLE, NJ - Morris County Prosecutor Fredric Knapp and Montville Township Police Chief Rudy Appelmann announce that Maurice Pearson, age 26, with a last known address of 55A Route 46 East, Pine Brook, NJ, and formerly of Altoona, PA, has been charged with first degree Murder for the beating death of his girlfriend’s three year old son.  Additional charges filed today consist of Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, and Unlawful Possession of a Weapon were also authorized.  

On April 10, 2015, at approximately 1:16 p.m., officers with the Fairfield Township Police Department responded to the Knights Inn, located at 55A Route 46 in Pine Brook, NJ on a report of a male choking. 

As a result of the investigation into this incident, Pearson was originally charged with Aggravated Assault and Endangering the Welfare of a Child for physically abusing the three year old child.  Pearson was also charged with one count of Aggravated Assault for physically assaulting his girlfriend (age 25).  Pearson was also charged with an additional count of Hindering His Own Apprehension for providing false information to law enforcement during the course of this investigation. Pearson was remanded to the Morris County Correctional Facility in lieu of a $100,000 bail.

At the time of the assault, the child and his mother were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. The child’s mother was treated and released.  However, the child sustained more serious injuries as a result of the assault and remained hospitalized until succumbing to his injuries on April 13. 

On April 16, the Honorable William J. McGovern III, J.S.C., authorized charges against Pearson for Murder, Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose and Unlawful Possession of a Weapon.  Bail was set at $1 million cash, bond or property.  Pearson remains in custody at the Morris County Correctional Facility.

Members of the Montville Police Department, Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit and Sex Crimes/Child Endangerment Unit, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office - Criminal Investigation Section, and the Fairfield Police Department have contributed to this investigation.

The investigation is active and ongoing.  No other information is being released at this time.

If anyone has any information related to this investigation, they are encouraged to call the Major Crimes Unit of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office at 973-285-6200, the Detective Bureau of the Montville Township Police Department at 973-257-4113, or Morris County Crimestoppers at 973-267-2255.