An Elizabeth man has admitted that he broke into the home of his ex-girlfriend’s mother a little more than three years ago and stabbed her to death, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Tuesday.

Richard Gill, 23, has pleaded guilty to a single count of first-degree murder.

On December 21, 2013, Elizabeth Police Department units responded to a North Avenue apartment to find the body of 50-year-old Sharon Serball, who was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Melissa Spagnoli, who prosecuted the case.

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An Elizabeth Police Department investigation quickly led to Gill being identified as a suspect in the case, and he was arrested the next day, Spagnoli said.

The investigation determined that Gill broke into the apartment via a fire escape and stabbed Serball more than 30 times before ransacking her home, ultimately changing his clothes and taking with him a bag of evidentiary material when he left a little less than two hours later. Earlier in the day, Spagnoli said, Gill had sent multiple hostile text messages to the victim’s daughter, who also lived in the apartment but was not home when he broke in. 

Sentencing in this case has been scheduled for April 7, 2017, at which time Gill will receive a term of 30 years in state prison, with the entire term to be served before the possibility of parole.