A Union County grand jury has returned a four-count indictment against a Plainfield man charged with stabbing his ex-wife to death this past summer, acting Union County Prosecutor Thomas K. Isenhour announced Thursday.

Eric Beale, 57, is charged with murder, two related weapons offenses, and hindering apprehension in connection with the killing of 56-year-old Marlene Martin.

At approximately 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 30, 2017, patrol units from the Plainfield Police Division responding to a request for a welfare check of Martin at her home on the 900 block of West 6th Street in Plainfield found her body in the backyard, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Bruce Holmes, who is prosecuting the case. Martin was pronounced dead at the scene, Holmes said.

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An investigation conducted by the Union County Homicide Task Force and assisted by the Plainfield Police Division and Union County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Unit resulted in Beale being quickly identified as a suspect, and he was arrested without incident shortly thereafter and lodged in Union County Jail.

Anyone with information about this matter still is urged to contact Task Force Detective Brendan Sullivan at 908-966-0999.

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Convictions on murder charges are commonly punishable by 30 years to life in state prison.

These criminal charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.