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Long Branch Man Indicted For 2014 Double Murder

The following is a release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office:

A Monmouth County grand jury returned a 6-count indictment Nov. 30 charging a Long Branch man with the strangulation murders of a city woman and her foster daughter, and child pornography-related charges connected to the young murder victim, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced.

Brian Farmer, 59, of John Street, Long Branch, was named Monday in an indictment charging him with two counts of first degree Murder for causing the death of Joan Colbert, 62, and her 10-year-old foster daughter Veronica Roach, one count of first degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child, one count of second degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child and two counts of third degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child. The Endangering charges are related for Farmer causing or permitting a child to engage in child pornography, for the manufacture of child pornography and for the possession of child pornography.

Farmer is being held in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution, Freehold Township, on $2.56 million cash-only bail, as set by then-Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Francis J. Vernoia, who recently received a temporary assignment to the state Appellate Division.

An investigation revealed Farmer was at the home on July 30, 2014, where he was discovered by Colbert taking pornographic photographs of the 10-year-old girl. A confrontation ensued ending with Farmer killing Colbert and the girl. Farmer then fled the scene of his crimes.

Detectives discovered pornographic pictures of the 10-year-old victim on Farmer's cellular phone prompting the child endangerment charges. Farmer is accused of causing the girl to engage in a prohibited sexual act while simultaneously photographing the girl; photographing the girl while engaged in a prohibited sexual act; engaging in sexual conduct with the child; and possession of child pornography. An autopsy determined both deaths were the result of a homicide, and both victims died as the result of strangulation.

If convicted of both charges of first degree Murder, Farmer faces a New Jersey state prison sentence of Life without the possibility of parole.

Farmer faces a state prison sentence of 10 to 20 years for first degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child, and faces a state prison sentence of 5 to 10 years on the second degree charge for the same offense. On each of the third degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child charges, Farmer faces a state prison sentence of 3 to 5 years.

Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.

The case is assigned to Monmouth County Senior Litigation Counsel Thomas Huth, and Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer Lipp, Director of the Office's Professional Responsibility and Bias Crime Bureau.

Read more from: Long Branch

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