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US Marshals Arrest Suspect in 11-Year-Old Central Jersey Murder Case

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

A 31-year-old man from Monmouth County has been arrested by U.S. Marshals in a murder case that has remained unsolved for 11 years, authorities said.

Christopher Willis of Long Branch has been charged with first-degree murder related to the death of Norberto Nieves, according to Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

On Nov. 29, 2009, Nieves, 36, also of Long Branch, was shot and killed near 136 7th Avenue, authorities said.

The initial investigation did not yield any arrests, Gramiccioni said on Thursday.

Additional evidence from the original crime scene was compared to other physical and testimonial evidence recently obtained during the cold case investigation, which resulted in charges being filed against Willis, the prosecutor said.

With the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Service NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force, Willis was taken into custody and taken to the Monmouth County Correctional Institution in Freehold Township where he was awaiting his first court appearance and detention hearing, Gramiccioni said.

The case is being investigated by members of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the Long Branch Police Department.

 Anyone with information about this case is urged to call Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Detective Wayne Raynor at 800-533-7443 or Long Branch Police Department Detective Todd Coleman at 732-222-1000.

Anyone who feels the need to remain anonymous but has information about a crime can submit a tip to Monmouth County Crime Stoppers by calling their confidential telephone tip-line at 1-800-671-4400.

If convicted of murder, Willis faces a sentence of 30 years to life in state prison, according to Gramiccioni.

Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Meghan Doyle, Director of the Cold Case Unit is handling the case.

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