FREEHOLD: The following is a press release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office:
A 21 year-old Long Branch man pleaded guilty on June 9 to killing another city man on Liberty Street in Long Branch on Sept. 21, 2013, announced Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
Dante Strong, 21, pled guilty to first degree Aggravated Manslaughter, Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, and Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, both second degree offenses, in connection with the shooting death of 23 year-old Adrian Anderson.
During Strong's plea allocution today before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge David F. Bauman, he admitted he was involved with a larger group of individuals who were engaged in a series of confrontations with other groups in of the area of Liberty Street on September 21, 2013. Strong indicated that during one of these confrontations a female relative of his was injured. As a result of his relative being injured, Strong obtained a handgun and fired in the direction of a group of individuals who were standing on the front porch of 135 Liberty Street. Strong then admitted his shots caused the death of Adrian Anderson.
As part of his plea agreement, the State will recommend he be given a 15-year prison term, subject to the provisions of the "No Early Release Act" (NERA) requiring him to serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed before he is eligible for parole. He would also be subject to 5 years of parole supervision upon his release. After consultation and consent of Adrian Anderson's family, the State determined this plea was in the interest of justice.
Strong is currently being held at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution on $1.45 million cash only bail, as set by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Richard W. English. He is scheduled for sentencing before Judge Bauman on Oct. 7, 2016.
At approximately 2:29 a.m. on September 21, 2013, officers from the Long Branch Police Department responded to 135 Liberty Street after receiving 911 calls reporting a shooting at that location. Upon their arrival, officers found Anderson on the front porch, unconscious and bleeding from several gunshot wounds. Anderson was subsequently transported by Long Branch Emergency Medical Services and Monmouth Ocean Hospital Services Corporation (MONOC) paramedics to Jersey Shore University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, despite the efforts made to save his life by medical personnel.
A joint investigation was immediately launched by the Long Branch Police Department and the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office. On November 7, 2013, Strong was arrested and charged with Murder, Possession of a Firearm for an Unlawful Purpose, and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm for the shooting death of Adrian Anderson.
The case is assigned to Senior Litigation Counsel Thomas C. Huth of the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office Major Crimes Bureau. Strong was represented by John Jay Perrone, Esquire of Long Branch.