Man Killed at Campground in Drug Deal Gone Bad, Cops Say
MANCHESTER — A drug deal took a turn and led to murder at an Ocean County campground on Sunday, according to Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer.
Police responded to calls about a body lying at the entrance to the Surf and Stream campground on Route 571 in Manchester with a wound in the chest, according to Billhimer. The man, identified as Thomas J. Applegate, 33, of Manchester was pronounced dead around 6 p.m., Billhimer said.
John T. Mullen, 50, of Seaside Heights was charged with first-degree murder in Applegate's death. Billhimer said Mullen planned to steal Xanax from Applegate but "this robbery turned into a murder," Billhimer said.
Mullen was also charged with first-degree robbery as well as possession of heroin and fourth-degree tampering with physical evidence.
Billhimer did not disclose how Mullen was killed or the circumstances of his death and did immediately return a message on Monday afternoon.