Tuckerton, NJ, Man Pleads Guilty to 2021 Shooting at Boat Dealership
A man from Tuckerton has pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and stalking charges in connection to a shooting at a boat dealership in Little Egg Harbor Township in January 2021.
Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer says 53-year-old Donald Rutter pleaded guilty on Monday and the State will be seeking a seven-year prison term when he is sentenced next month.
On the evening of January 5, 2021, Little Egg Harbor Township Police were called to Jarvis Marine on Radio Road after they received a 9-1-1 call. Responding officers found 55-year-old Thomas Jarvis of Little Egg Harbor with a gunshot wound to his midsection. He was treated at a local hospital and eventually released.
An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office determined that Rutter shot Jarvis.
On January 28th, Rutter, after eluding police by sleeping under the boardwalk, was located in Atlantic City and taken into custody without incident by the United States Marshals Service. He has been held in the Ocean County Jail since then.
According to an affidavit filed by investigators in Ocean County, Rutter blamed Jarvis for the breakup of his marriage.
Two weeks before the shooting, Rutter was told by his wife that she "no longer wanted to be with him as a result of his drinking," the affidavit says.
Jarvis told police that when he arrived at his business, he saw Rutter who smiled and pointed a gun at him. Jarvis was shot before he could jump for cover.
The complaint and affidavit in the case do not confirm whether Jarvis was in any relationship with Rutter's wife.
With prior reporting from Townsquare Media's Dan Alexander.