Police & Fire

Plainfield Man Admits to Killing Infant Son     

Michael Bell admits to fatally beating infant son. Credits: Union County Prosecutor's Office

UNION COUNTY, NJ -- A Plainfield man has admitted to killing his infant son nearly four years ago, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Thursday. Michael Bell, 39, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a single count of aggravated manslaughter.

On May 10, 2013, Plainfield Police Division patrol units traveled to Bell’s home on Lee Place to find 4-month-old Zion Bell suffering from serious injuries, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Bruce Holmes, who prosecuted the case.

A joint investigation involving the Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Task Force and Plainfield Police Division and assisted by the Union County Sheriff’s Office Identification Unit, revealed that Michael Bell struck him multiple times in the head, causing his injuries, Holmes said. The day after the attack, with the assistance of NJ Transit Police and Amtrak Police, investigators located and arrested Bell on a bus bound for Iowa that had just left Newark’s Penn Station.

Sign Up for E-News

Zion Bell died of his injuries at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick two days later. A Union County grand jury returned an indictment against Michael Bell in September 2013.  

Sentencing in the case has been scheduled for April 21, 2017 before State Superior Court Judge Regina Caulfield, at which time the State will recommend a sentence of 25 years in state prison, with 85 percent of that term to be served before the possibility of parole.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

Westfield Gets $15K Grant for Inclusive Playground Equipment for Children with Disabilities

March 16, 2018

SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- Scotch Plains will receive a $25,470 grant, while Fanwood will get a $15,000 award from the “Level the Playing Field” grant program from Union County, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders announced Thursday.

The program was designed to help every Union County municipality provide inclusive playgrounds to children with ...

The Day After

Some years ago, the United Nations held the International Summit on Sustainable Development, here in Johannesburg. The Summit was a great success. One wonders, though, whether all the wonderful decisions and resolutions that were adopted were ever implemented. In other words, were they themselves sustainable?

Good ideas and worthwhile projects are suggested regularly. The question is, do they ...

Why I Have Joined Sandy Hook Promise

March 2, 2018

Dear Editor:

Since the day I was sworn-in as Mayor, I have made the safety of Scotch Plains residents, especially our children, my highest priority.

Working with the Township Council, Police Chief Conley and his dedicated Police department, we have added two new police officers and various promotions to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of our Police force. School safety is always at ...

How to Stay Connected to Your Partner After a Newborn

March 11, 2018

Life changes instantly once we have a newborn.  It is one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences a couple can have. It brings joy and a newfound commitment to the relationship and now to a family of three. Grandparents, family and friends are eager to get involved with helping and visiting. Responsibilities increase, expenses increase and privacy decreases. Our routine ...

Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA Swimmers Excel at 11-14 NJ Junior Olympics

March 17, 2018

PISCATAWAY, NJ -- The Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA swim team had 26 qualifiers at the recent NJ Junior Olympics for 11-14 year olds held at Rutgers University from March 9-11. The team put in great efforts with numerous personal best times resulting in 10 FSPY swimmers finishing in the top 16.

Congratulations to Bridget Davis for setting the new team record in 1000 Free. In the heat before ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, March 17, 5:00 PM

Mountainside Elks Lodge No. 1585, Mountainside

Mountainside Elks Annual St. Patrick's Day Dinner

Food & Drink


Sun, March 18, 10:00 AM


Camp Riverbend Open House


Sun, March 18, 2:00 PM

Miller-Cory House Museum, Westfield

Maple Sugar Sunday