A 29-year-old man from South Jersey was sentenced to 40 years in state prison for a shooting at an Atlantic County apartment complex that left one man dead and three hurt, authorities said.
Matthew Gonzalez of Mays Landing was convicted by a jury in March on multiple charges, including aggravated manslaughter, aggravated assault, weapons offenses, attempted bribery and witness tampering, according to Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner.
Gonzalez must serve 21 years and three months in prison before being eligible for parole, Tyner said.
The Sept. 24, 2017. fatal shooting stemmed from a fight at the Brandywood Apartment Complex in Hamilton Township, Tyner said.
Gonzalez blasted Taufeeq Mitchell, 31, of Mays Landing, and wounded three others, the prosecutor said.
Mitchell grew up in Atlantic City’s Venice Park. He was survived by children and two step-children.
“He was very supportive of his children,” a loved one told BreakingAC.com. “The only time he took off was for their football games. He had a smile that could light up a room.”
“This conviction and sentencing is a move in the direction of closure for Taufeeq Mitchell‘s family,” said Chief Assistant Prosecutor Erik Bergman, who prosecuted the case. “I would like to thank the entire ACPO Major Crimes Unit, lead ACPO Detective Patrick Bell and the Township of Hamilton Police Department for their work on this case.”
"If you think that you will intimidate and threaten witnesses so they won’t testify against you, we will prosecute you and you can tack on another 15 years consecutive to the sentence for your original offense,” Tyner said in a statement.
“Witness tampering interferes with the integrity of the criminal justice system. This defendant will spend the next 40 years in prison thinking about all of the poor decisions that landed him there,” Tyner said.
Chief Assistant Prosecutor Erik Bergman, who handled the case, said, “This conviction and sentencing is a move in the direction of closure for Taufeeq Mitchell’s family."
The investigation was a joint effort between the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit and the Hamilton Township Police Department. The Egg Harbor City Police Department and the New Jersey State Police assisted at the crime scene.
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