ELIZABETH – The retrial of Elizabeth murder suspect Gary Suttle began last week.
Suttle, 44, allegedly killed a 60-year-old woman named Lois Zukowitz. Police discovered Zukowitz’ body lying in a pool of blood on the floor of her apartment on March 11, 2004. Investigators determined that an intruder had hit her in the head with a hammer.
Suttle swore on the witness stand during his original trial in April that he did not kill Zukowitz. Suttle maintained that he had a convenient, mutually beneficial relationship with Zukowitz: she paid him to buy drugs for her.
The Elizabeth man became a suspect because he left his bloody footprints at the crime scene, along with his jacket and keys to his apartment on Mravlag Manor. Suttle was arrested two weeks after the killing.
Suttle argued that he went to Zukowitz’ Pennington Street apartment to deliver heroin, not to kill her. Suttle said that when he discovered the body, he fled the apartment, leaving his coat and keys behind, because he did not believe that authorities would believe his story.
“I’m the scapegoat,” Suttle said in a recent interview. “They did not follow any other leads.”
Suttle is being tried a second time because jurors were deadlocked on his guilt or innocence following the first trial in April.
Suttle is charged with first-degree murder, which carries a 30-year to life sentence if he is convicted.
Connect with NJTODAY.NET
Join NJTODAY.NET's free Email List to receive occasional updates delivered right to your email address!