FREEHOLD – On Friday, a 35-year-old Edison man admitted that he tried to kill his estranged wife and led police on a high-speed chase on New Year’s Day 2009.
Juan J. Rojas pleaded guilty to the first degree crime of attempted murder, and the second degree crime of eluding before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Ronald L. Reisner.
In accordance with the plea agreement, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office will recommend a 15-year state prison term. Rojas is scheduled to appear for sentencing before Reisner on Jan. 27, 2012.
The charges stem from a domestic incident on Jan.1, 2009. At approximately 3:30 a.m., Freehold Township Police received a 911 call asking for help from the 32-year-old victim, the estranged wife of Juan J. Rojas Jr. The victim told police her husband was at the front door trying to break into her residence, a condominium in the Strickland Farms Development of Freehold Township. The 911 dispatcher then heard glass shatter as Rojas crashed through the front window.
Rojas then proceeded to attack the victim, stabbing her approximately 19 times in her neck, chest, abdomen, head, legs and back. The Freehold Township Police, sent to the scene by the 911 dispatcher as the entire attack unfolded over the open 911 line, arrived as the defendant began to drag the victim to her bedroom. As police approached the dwelling, Rojas fled through the bedroom window.
Freehold Township and Howell Township police officers entered the residence. As Howell Township officers rendered medical assistance to the severely wounded victim, Freehold police searched outside of the residence for Rojas. Officers observed the defendant’s grey SUV leaving the scene at a high rate of speed without its lights on. Police officers from Freehold Township, joined by officers from Howell Township, began a pursuit of the defendant’s vehicle on Strickland Road.
The defendant led police from residential Freehold onto Route 9, through State Highway 195, and onto the Garden State Parkway northbound, where the New Jersey State Police joined the high speed pursuit. Rojas at times traveled at speeds of over 100 miles an hour. The New Jersey State Police followed Rojas to Route 440 in Perth Amboy and onto local streets. Rojas eventually pulled over and exited his vehicle with his hands up.
The victim was transported by ambulance to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune Township, where she immediately underwent surgery for multiple stab wounds. The victim’s injuries also included defensive wounds to her hands and fingers, and a punctured lung.
Rojas is free pending sentencing after having posted $1 million bail on May 8, 2009.
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