5/16-Freehold Man Arrested on Murder Charge

By John Burton

FREEHOLD — A Freehold man was arrested on Friday, charged with the murder of his live-in girlfriend earlier in the day.

Police took into custody Sender Neftali Villatoro Reyes, 24, Hudson Street, charging him with first degree murder in connection of the death of 31-year-old Lucenay Fermin Gallegos, according to Charles Webster, a spokesman for the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.

An autopsy done Friday by Middlesex County Assistant Medical Examiner Diane Karluk determined Gallegos’ cause of death was asphyxia from manual strangulation and ruled a homicide, Webster said.

Police had responded to a 911 call received at approximately 2 a.m., with officers finding Gallegos unresponsive on the floor of the third floor apartment. The couple are the parents of a 3-year-old child police found sleeping in an adjacent bedroom.

Reyes is currently being held in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution, Freehold, in lieu of $1 million bail, without the option to post a 10 percent bond, according to Webster.

If convicted of the charge, Reyes faces a minimum of 30 years and up to life in state prison and is subject to the No Early Release Act, meaning he would have to serve a minimum of 85 percent of his sentence before being considered for parole, Webster said.

 

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