Two Parsippany residents were sentenced in early July 2020 to incarceration for their respective roles in a drunken fight that left their fellow housemate dead.
Men Arrested for Killing Roommate
Rogelio Laureano-Gonzalez, age 26, pled guilty to manslaughter and hindering apprehension for the homicide of Jaime Lopez-Basilio, a 27 year old Mexican immigrant, during an argument between the two at their home in September of 2019. Laureano-Gonzalez will serve a minimum of four years and three months before he will be eligible for parole. Their fellow roommate, Cirilo Rojas-Paulino, also age 26, was sentenced to 291 days in jail for fleeing to California with Laureano-Gonzalez in their attempt to evade police. The two men were eventually apprehended in California and extradited back to New Jersey in January of this year.
Both Sentenced for Manslaughter and Fleeing
Both Laureano-Gonzalez and Rojas-Paulino are Mexican citizens and likely face deportation for their roles in Lopez-Basilio’s death. At his sentencing hearing, Laureano-Gonzalez characterized Lopez-Basilio’s death as a “mistake” and advised that he would seek treatment for alcohol abuse while in prison and would help financially support Lopez-Basilio’s wife and children once Laureano-Gonzalez returns to Mexico.
However, presiding Judge Stephen Taylor admonished Laureano-Gonzalez for not apologizing for Lopez-Basilio’s death and described the two men’s actions as “selfish and heartless.” Judge Taylor noted that Lopez-Basilio was found with major injuries, including a significant laceration on his neck; Judge Taylor further noted that Laurenao-Gonzalez left Lopez-Basilio while he made arrangements to flee to California and took away another roommate’s cell phone to prevent him from calling police.
Following Laureano-Gonzalez’s eventual release, Judge Taylor noted that he will likely be deported after having been previously convicted in federal court of unlawfully entering the U.S. Rojas-Paulino was sentenced to time served while awaiting trial and has been released into the custody of federal immigration officials.
What to Do If You Are Involved in an Assault or Homicide
If you have been involved in or arrested for an assault or homicide, you need to act quickly to protect your rights and options by contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney. If you are already under arrest, remember that you have the right to remain silent and the right to speak to an attorney before deciding whether to answer questions from the police. If you have not yet been arrested, your attorney can arrange for your surrender to police, which can help avoid the embarrassment of being arrested at home, work or anywhere else in public.
An attorney can advise you as to the potential consequences of a conviction on your charges (along with the potential immigration consequences of a conviction if you are not a U.S. citizen). Your attorney can also evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution’s case and can begin developing a defense strategy, which may seek to exclude certain evidence or challenge the strength of other evidence. Where possible, your attorney may also be able to negotiate a dismissal or reduction or certain charges in exchange for a plea, which can significantly reduce the severity of the penalties you may be facing.
Contact an Experienced Woodbridge Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Homicide Charges in New Jersey
Were you arrested or charged with homicide in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The attorneys at the Law Office of Anthony J. Vecchio, LLC have successfully represented clients charged with homicide in Jersey City, Mt. Laurel, Freehold, Princeton, and throughout New Jersey. Call (732) 334-7468 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 227 Main Street, Woodbridge, NJ 07095, as well as offices located in Freehold, Mt. Laurel, Jersey City, and Princeton.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.