NEWARK, NJ – The Essex County Prosecutors Office held a press conference Wednesday afternoon announcing that the Montclair attorney accused of killing his live-in girlfriend on October 23, has been captured in Cuba. James R. Ray, III, 55, is charged with killing the mother of his child, 44-year-old, Angela Bledsoe.
“We have in custody James R. Ray, III, who is charged with the murder of Angela Bledsoe, the mother of his daughter and the woman with whom he shared a home with in Montclair” said Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II. “On October 23 of this year, Miss Bledsoe was horribly murdered, shot multiple times in her home by the defendant. She was a young mother of a six-year-old child, a brilliant young professional struck down in the prime of her life.”
The FBI worked in connection with the Montclair Police Department, Allentown, PA Police Department, the New Jersey State Police, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Embassy in Havana, Enforcement and Removal Operations Customs and Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie, to solve this case and bring Ray back to the United States.
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When asked about the charges Ray faces, Stephens said, “with the homicide involved, the maximum penalty would be life imprisonment, and (additional) charges are still being developed, so with a young child being involved, child endangerment could be one of the charges as well, but they are being processed as we speak.”
Ray is expected to make his first court appearance on Tuesday, November 13 before Judge Martin G. Cronin, Judge of the Superior Court, to determine if he will be retained.
“There are limits as to what I can say about this case, since it is an ongoing investigation and we are in the very early stages of this process.” Stevens told the media gathering.
The investigation remains active and ongoing, officials announced. These are accusations. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they enter a guilty plea or are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
“I am not at liberty to discuss about the particulars or about what items were recovered at that time, and with an ongoing investigation the motive is not clear,” added Stephens. “There have been no plea negotiations at this time and he has asked for an attorney.”
Montclair Township Mayor Robert Jackson and Police Chief Todd Conforti were also present at the press conference.
“Nothing happens in a vacuum, this is yet another example in the State of New Jersey of the great cooperation from the local, state and federal level, as now including our international partners,” said Gregory W. Ehrie, Special Agent In Charge of FBI Office in Newark.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Essex County Prosecutors Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force tips line at 1–877–TIPS–4EC or 1–877–847–7432.