NEW BRUNSWICK — A grand jury in Middlesex County indicted five defendants today on charges of fatally beating Dr. Divyendu Sinha and assaulting his two minor sons in Old Bridge on June 25, Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan announced.
The five defendants, all juveniles at the time of the assaults, will be tried as adults in Superior Court under an earlier Family Court decision. They are: Cash Q. Johnson, 17, Steven K. Contreras, 17, Christian M. Tinli, 18, Christopher Conway, 17, and Julian C. Daley, 16. All are residents of Old Bridge.
The grand jury, sitting in New Brunswick, also charged these five defendants with the unrelated aggravated assault of Anthony Martino, 18, of Old Bridge, who was attacked minutes before the assault on Dr. Sinha and his sons.
The grand jury further charged that Daley and Conway conspired to commit another assault following the attacks on Martino and Dr. Sinha and his family. The defendants were arrested and charged before any such assault could occur.
The 11-count indictment was handed up following an investigation that revealed no evidence that the attack on Martino, the attack on Dr. Sinha and his family, or the subsequent plan to assault another victim, was motivated by the victims’ race, color, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin or ethnicity, as required by New Jersey’s Bias Intimidation law, authorities said.
The initial investigation by Detective Greg Morris of the Old Bridge Police Department and Investigator Paul Miller of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office began after police received a call at 11:42 p.m. on June 25, and arrived to find Dr. Sinha and his sons, ages 16 and 12, had been beaten as they walked near their home on Fela Drive in Old Bridge. Dr. Sinha’s sons also sustained injuries. His wife was not harmed. No weapons were used.
Dr. Sinha was taken to Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge and later was transferred to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, where he died on June 28. An autopsy determined that the cause of death was due to a head injury.
Minutes before the attack on the Sinha family, the defendants allegedly attacked Martino. During that assault, one of the defendants allegedly threw an unknown object at a car that Martino was driving and caused more than $2,000 in damages to the vehicle.
The five defendants, who were quickly apprehended by police, were charged as juveniles because of their ages. Superior Court Judge Jane Cantor, sitting in Family Court in New Brunswick, subsequently signed an order permitting the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office to try them as adults.
In addition to murder, the grand jury charged the five defendants with various counts of aggravated assault and conspiracy to commit aggravated assault upon Dr. Sinha, his sons, and Martino.
Additionally, the grand jury accused the defendants of riot and a related count of conspiracy, contending they acted as a group to commit crimes. The five also were charged with two counts of hindering for trying to protect themselves and each other from prosecution by concealing evidence or misrepresenting facts about the attacks.
Along with the assault charges, the grand jury also charged the defendants with criminal mischief for damaging the car that was being driven by Martino.
As is the case with all criminal defendants, Johnson, Contreras, Tinli, Conway, and Daley are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
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