NEW BRUNSWICK — A member of the Bloods street gang was sentenced today to serve life in prison without parole for robbing and fatally shooting a New Brunswick man, Middlesex County Acting Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey announced.
Kevin Vauters, 21, also was sentenced to a 16-year term, to run consecutively to the life prison term, for witness tampering.
The penalty was imposed in New Brunswick by Superior Court Judge Michael A. Toto, who said the defendant will not become eligible for parole.
Vauters was sentenced after he was found guilty on Sept. 12 of 11 counts, including the murder and armed robbery on Jan. 10, 2012 of Eugene Lockhart, 26, of New Brunswick.
The guilty verdicts were handed up in New Brunswick following a trial in which Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Christine D’Elia and Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Akesha Williams presented evidence and testimony showing Vauters had given Lockhart a gun to commit a robbery, and then shot Lockhart after deciding Lockhart had not given Vauters a fair share of the stolen money.
In addition to murder, armed robbery and a related count of felony murder, Vauters was found guilty of unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, hindering his own apprehension; hindering the investigation, three counts of witness tampering and attempted false incrimination by trying to blame another individual for the homicide.
Vauters was charged following an intensive investigation by Detective Drew Weiss of the New Brunswick Police Department and Investigator Michael Daniewicz of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.
The investigation began after police received a 911 call from a passerby, who found the victim at Pittman Park on Handy Street in New Brunswick. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
During the investigation, Vauters lied to police during questioning and approached three witnesses, demanding they provide false information to police. One of the three was threatened.
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