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Prosecutor: Lakewood Teen Charged As Adult In Howell Murder

Monmouth County Jail
Monmouth County Jail Photo Credit: Monmouth County Sheriff's Office

A Lakewood man, who was 17 when he and his uncle were arrested in connection with a murder, will be charged as an adult, authorities said. 

Alberto Rojas Hernandez, now 18, faces charges of first-degree murder, first-degree conspiracy to commit murder and weapons charges, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said.

Rojas Hernandez is being held in the Middlesex County Youth Detention Center in North Brunswick, pending a first appearance and detention hearing on Thursday, Gramiccioni said.

Rojas Hernandez’s uncle, Juan Carlos "Omar" Rivera Rojas, 29, of Lakewood, previously was charged in the killing with first-degree murder, Gramiccioni said

Domingo Merino Rafael, 33, of Lakewood was killed during an argument with the other two men on Hurley Pond Road near Route 547 in Howell. 

Rafael was found lying dead in the road by Howell Township police at 3:46 a.m. on Oct. 18, 2019, Gramiccioni said.

If convicted of murder, Rojas Hernandez faces a minimum sentence of 30 years in state prison, Gramiccioni said.

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