Guilty! NJ boy saw depraved dad kill mom who begged to ‘die in peace’
BRIDGETON — A 33-year-old man could die in prison after being convicted of killing the mother of his child in 2016.
Jeremiah E. Monell, of Commercial Township, spent two weeks on the run before police found him in hiding in early January 2017.
Prosecutors said Monell killed his estranged wife, Tara O’Shea-Watson, on Dec. 18, 2016, in her Commercial Township home while their 12-year-old son watched. Their daughter was also at home. She also had three other children.
Investigators said Monell stabbed the 35-year-old woman at least 90 times with more than one knife. One of the knives was found behind the stove with his palm print, officials said.
At trial, his attorney maintained Monell was not the killer.
The son, now 14, testified that he witnessed the slaying and that his father smoked in the kitchen after he was finished.
“I said, ‘You killed her.’ And I said that a few times,” the boy on the stand recalled telling Monell, according to The Daily Journal's coverage of the trial.
The son testified that he heard his mother plea to his dad to “let me die in peace" as he strangled her.
One of the stab wounds was a slash to her throat, authorities said.
Friends of the victim said the couple had split and she was seeking a divorce from her rage-filled jealous husband.
A Cumberland County jury on Friday returned guilty verdicts for murder under outrageously, wantonly vile, inhuman and depraved circumstances, as well as aggravated assault.
He is scheduled to be sentenced by a Superior Court judge on March 1.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.