FREEHOLD: Altonio Williams, 37, of Long Branch, convicted after a seven-week jury trial in February was sentenced Friday by the Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Francis J. Vernoia, P.J.Cr. to 10 years in a New Jersey state prison with a five-year period of parole ineligibility for a 2011 residential burglary spree, announced Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
In addition to imposing the 10-year sentence, Judge Vernoia sentenced Williams to a consecutive six-month period of incarceration for the disorderly persons offense of Contempt of Court related to outbursts made by him during his trial. All these sentences were also ordered to run consecutive to a seven-year New Jersey state prison term previously imposed on Williams by Monmouth County Superior Court Lisa P. Thornton, J.S.C. on March 26, 2012 for unrelated crimes.
Williams’ conviction comes after he was arrested by Manalapan police, along with co-defendant Bernard Valentin, after the pair broke into two homes in Tinton Falls during the daytime hours of Feb. 24, 2011, stealing thousands of dollars of jewelry, collectible coins, and a handgun. The men then traveled along with a third man, co-defendant Creg Curry, to Manalapan where they burglarized a third residence. A housekeeper inside the Manalapan residence saw one of the burglars attempting to enter the home by prying open a sliding glass door with a crow bar, and frantically ran for help to a next door neighbor who placed a 911 call for police assistance. Manalapan police officers responded and located Curry fleeing the scene in a vehicle. Inside Curry’s vehicle was the property and handgun stolen from the earlier burglaries in Tinton Falls, as well as a hand-held radio. Manalapan police then conducted a search around the neighborhood and quickly apprehended Williams and Valentin. Williams was found with an identical hand-held radio in his pocket which allowed him to keep in contact with his getaway driver.
After his arrest, Manalapan police determined Valentin was wearing a GPS monitoring ankle-bracelet, issued by the U.S. Department of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, which pinpointed his location at the various burglary scenes throughout the day.
Co-defendant Curry was previously sentenced by Judge Vernoia to six (6) years New Jersey State Prison on April 17, 2014. Co-defendant Valentin is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Vernoia on May 23, 2014.
The case is assigned to Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutor Emily Cartmell. Williams was represented by Brian White, Esq., of Toms River. Curry was represented by Kelly Anderson-Smith, Esq., of Hamilton, Mercer County. Bernard Valentin was represented by Ricardo Rodriguez, Esq., of Morristown.