Rondell Gray, 40, of North Haledon originally wasn’t even eligible for parole until Wednesday -- the day his arrest was announced -- after taking a plea bargain three years earlier for shooting and killing Myesha Montgomery, 28, with whom he once lived, in 2015, state records show.
The state freed Gray, who’s also a registered sex offender, on Oct. 8, 2020, however, amid a wave of early state prison paroles due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Authorities said Gray ran up and shot Anthony McNeal, 35, in the head at close range in front of what used to be a restaurant on Union Avenue, near Jasper Street, shortly before 8 p.m. on Aug. 31.
McNeal -- who had five sisters, including a twin -- was pronounced dead at the scene minutes later, they said.
Gray, who carjacked another victim right after that, was arrested without incident in Brooklyn on Sept. 13 “following an intense search by members of the Paterson Police Department, the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, the United States Secret Service, and the United States Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force,” Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes and Paterson Police Chief Ibrahim Baycora said in a joint statement.
He waived extradition and was brought from Rikers Island to the Passaic County Jail on Tuesday, they said.
Gray’s adult criminal history stretches back to 2001, when he was imprisoned for having sex with a 14-year-old girl he knew, records show.
He's now charged with murder and various weapons counts, including being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. A parole violation is likely to follow.
Valdes and Baycora didn’t indicate a motive in the killing of McNeal, whose mother called him "playful, funny, happy, crazy, a lover not a fighter."
READ HIS OBITUARY: Anthony McNeal III (July 9, 1986 - August 31, 2021)
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