SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ - The Superior Court of New Jersey had denied an appeal to overturn the sentence of John A. Wells, a man who was arrested by South Brunswick and North Brunswick police in 2014 for two consecutive robberies. Mr. Wells was sentenced to 15 consecutive years in 2018 on a count of robbery, his appeal was denied on February 19th, 2021 according to court documents.
On October 26, 2014, Mr. Wells robbed a woman in the parking lot of the Stop & Shop in South Brunswick Township. According to court documents, Mr. Wells drove up behind the woman, jumped out of his car, stole her purse and drove away. The altercation broke the victim’s middle finger.
South Brunswick Police Officer William Bonura, Jr arrived at the scene and reviewed the security cameras. The car in question was an early 2000's Saab, based on the car's distinct features.
Two days later, a similar incident occurred at a ShopRite in North Brunswick Township. The victim was able to write down the vehicle's license plate number, the registered owner was Mr. Wells’s wife.
Later that day, a manager at a car dealership, where Mr. Wells detailed cars, received a nixle alert detailing the South Brunswick robbery. Noticing the description of the man and the car matched Mr. Wells, he contacted South Brunswick Police Detective Brian Sites. Hours later, Mr. Wells was arrested at the dealership.
An appeal filed by Mr. Wells attempted to overturn his 15-year sentence on the grounds of the court’s failure to sever the two robberies and hearsay evidence. The appeals court found that there was “no abuse of discretion,” and the judge was in her right to try both cases. The court also found no ground to overturn the sentence based on hearsay.