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TV Appearance Held For Ringwood Man Charged With Killing Ex-Girlfriend

Clinton J. DeGroat Clinton J. DeGroat
Clinton J. DeGroat Photo Credit: Lauren Kidd Ferguson
Assistant Passaic County Prosecutor Eileen Kane Assistant Passaic County Prosecutor Eileen Kane
Assistant Passaic County Prosecutor Eileen Kane Photo Credit: Lauren Kidd Ferguson
Superior Court Judge John F. Meola Superior Court Judge John F. Meola
Superior Court Judge John F. Meola Photo Credit: Lauren Kidd Ferguson
A public defender entered a not-guilty on his behalf A public defender entered a not-guilty on his behalf
A public defender entered a not-guilty on his behalf Photo Credit: Lauren Kidd Ferguson

PATERSON, N.J. -- A judge in Paterson conducted a teleconferenced first court appearance Friday for a 38-year-old Ringwood man charged with killing his ex-girlfriend with a shotgun blast through a glass door.

Clinton J. Degroat appeared on a large screen before Superior Court Judge John F. Meola from the Passaic County Jail.A public defender entered a not-guilty on Degroat's behalf to murder and weapons offenses, among other counts, in the alleged killing of Nicole Sierra, also 38, just before midnight Thursday.Meola set a March 15 date for his next court appearance.

Degroat, who had a previous dating relationship with Sierra, went to her Van Dunk Lane home late Thursday, Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes and Ringwood Police Chief Joseph J. Walker previously said.

Following an argument with "a male visitor" there, they said, Degroat "left the home and returned with a shotgun."

Degroat then fired "through the glass door of her house," they alleged.

A shotgun was recovered nearby and Degroat was arrested, the chief and prosecutor added.

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