FREEHOLD: The following is a press release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office:
A Monmouth County jury has delivered a guilty verdict for a Toms River man who robbed and killed another Ocean County man in 2013 at the victim's job site, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
Alan Bienkowski , 57, was found guilty on all counts following a six-week trial before an all-female jury in the courtroom of Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Ronald Lee Reisner.
Bienkowski was convicted of first degree counts of Murder, Felony Murder and Armed Robbery; second degree counts of Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose and Certain Persons Not to Possess a Weapon; and third degree Receiving Stolen Property. The jury also found three aggravating factors for the charges that carry a mandatory sentence of Life Imprisonment with No Parole. One of those aggravating factors was based on Bienkowski's murder conviction obtained by the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office earlier this year. Bienkowski is scheduled for sentencing on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016.
It was learned at trial the victim, Michael Wells, 56, of Point Pleasant, arrived just before 4 a.m. on April 10, 2013 at his workday at Dutch Prime Foods on West Avenue in Long Branch. As Wells walked to the front door to open the business he was hit in the back of the head by Bienkowski, who robbed him of cash before fleeing the area on foot. Wells chased after Bienkowski and the pair eventually came face-to-face in the backyard of a private residence on Cleveland Avenue. Bienkowski, armed with a stolen gun, shot and killed Wells in the backyard. Wells was discovered around 7:50 a.m. by the resident of 215 Cleveland Avenue.
A joint investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office and the Long Branch Police Department resulted in Bienkowski's arrest on May 16, 2013 on charges he killed Wells.
A year later, a man who had moved into the defendant's former Manchester Township residence discovered a gun buried in the yard. The gun was determined to be the murder weapon, and it was found to be stolen in 2010.
The case was prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutors Jennifer Lipp and Matthew Bogner.
Bienkowski is represented by Robert Konzelmann, Esq., of Howell.