Carteret Man Admits Strangling His Live-In Companion

NEW BRUNSWICK — A Carteret man today admitted strangling his live-in companion in their home last year, Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan announced.

Shawn Humphrey, 37, pleaded guilty to a charge of murder, admitting that he killed Dana Ciccolella, 32, during an argument on March 19, 2011.

Under a plea agreement reached with Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Neil Casey, the defendant will be sentenced to a 30-year prison term with no chance for parole for 30 years.

Humphrey, who pleaded guilty during a hearing at the Middlesex County Courthouse in New Brunswick, will be sentenced on Sept. 7 by Superior Court Judge Diane Pincus.

Humphrey was charged during an investigation by Detective Sgt. Douglas Kopin and Detective Sgt. Raymond Novak, both of the Carteret Police Department, and Investigator Adrian Villegas of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.

The investigation began after family members found the victim unresponsive, and contacted a family friend, who called police on March 21, 2011.

Ciccolella was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:22 p.m. An autopsy by the Middlesex County Medical Examiner’s Office determined she had been strangled.

Humphrey was arrested in Penn Station in New York City at about 8:15 p.m. on March 22, 2011, and later was returned to New Jersey, where he has remained in custody.

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