No leniency in cold-blooded murder: This week in Central Jersey history, July 17-23 (2024)


Denying a plea for leniency, Superior Court Judge John Pursel in Somerville sentenced Gary Wilson, 30, of Bridgewater, on Tuesday, July 23, 2013, to 45 years in state prison for the 2009 Memorial Day weekend murder of Bridgewater resident Carolyn Stone.

"There could not be a worse crime," said Pursel. Wilson choked Stone and dropped a cinder block on her head twice, killing her.

Here's a look at events that happened in Central Jersey from five, 10, 25, 50 and 100 years ago this week.

Five years ago

July 18, 2018: It was reported that, as part of the Snapple Bowl XXV festivities, team members visited patients at the Long Term Care Unit at Children's Specialized Hospital in Mountainside.

July 18: Eric LeGrand, the Rutgers football player who suffered a spinal cord injury which left him paralyzed, visited 60 fifth- and sixth-grade Middlesex County cadets in Sayreville to tell his story and offer words of encouragement.

July 19: Flyers with the symbol for the white nationalist group, Identity Evropa, which focused on the preservation of "white American culture" and promoting white European identity, were found in Bridgewater, Somerville, Morristown and surrounding areas, it was reported.

July 19: Middlesex County beat Union County, 22-6, in the Snapple Bowl XXV at Nicholas A. Priscoe Stadium in Woodbridge.

July 20-22: Taylor Swift, Camilla Cabello and Charli XCX performed at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford.

July 21: Thousands came out to get muddy and raise funds for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society at the 2018 MuckFest MS at Zarephath Christian Church in the Somerset section of Franklin Township.

10 years ago

July 18, 2013: Chuck Knill, president of Curbing Hunger, announced the program, conducted throughout the month, had collected more than 51,400 pounds of food ― "to date."

July 19: It was reported Owen R. Harshaney, 22, of Dunellen, who attempted on Friday, March 22, 2013, to burn down a home owned by the parent of his ex-girlfriend on Brandywine Rise in Green Brook, was indicted on first-degree attempted murder and second-degree aggravated arson charges.

July 19: The Zac Brown Band performed at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel.

July 19: New Brunswick boxer Leroy Davila captured his third straight gold medal in an international tournament on Saturday, July 13, 2013, when he won the light flyweight division at the Makar Mazai Memorial in Mariupal, Ukraine, beating Ukrainian boxer Viktor Denisov in the final, 3-0, it was reported.

July 20: Middlesex's 100th birthday was celebrated with a three-mile parade, featuring bands, floats, civic groups and elected officials.

July 23: Marquis Smith of Plainfield, described by authorities as the getaway driver in a string of racially motivated armed robberies that struck North Plainfield in late 2008 into 2009, was sentenced in Somerville to six years in state prison.


July 18, 1998: It was reported the Somerset Patriots lost to the Atlantic City Surf, 6-0, before a crowd of 1,777 at The Sandcastle in Atlantic City.

July 19: A Courier-News investigation found cashiers routinely failed to ask for photo identification before selling cigarettes to young people in Central Jersey, it was reported.

July 20: A federal grand jury indicted appraisers Richard Calanni, 47, Tinton Falls; Roland Pierson, 52, Jackson; James Brown, 52, Scotch Plains; Thomas Brodo, 51, Teaneck; and Richard DiBenedetto, 39, Mahwah, with cooking up reports that grossly inflated the sale value of dozens of rundown properties in Asbury Park, Plainfield and elsewhere.

July 21: The state Supreme Court ruled that the state could limit the number and size of signs sex shops could display, saying those businesses could lead to the deterioration of neighborhoods.

July 23: It was reported the 1998 QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning would be held from Friday, July 24, through Sunday, July 26, 1998, at Solberg Airport in Readington.

July 23: In their first meeting with health authorities, Edison residents complained there hadn't been enough attention paid to a neighborhood where several people's tongues had turned yellow.


July 18, 1973: On his last night as owner of the 7-Eleven on Lafayette Street in Edison, Ralph Montasser was robbed of more than $250 in cash by a man with a gun. Montasser originally thought the suspect was playing a "bad joke."

July 18: In baseball, South Bound Brook beat Hillsborough, 7-6, to win the District 17 Senior League Championship.

July 19: Five persons were arrested in Bernards in what Somerset County Prosecutor Stephen R. Champi said was "potentially the largest drug selling operation" in the county's history.

July 19: The Franklin Board of Adjustment vetoed Hooper Model Town, Inc., a $90 million apartment-shopping center complex project.

July 20: Michael R. Myers, 20, of Somerville, was fined $250 in Superior Court in Somerville for throwing "molotov co*cktails" at the Bridgewater home of Raritan Patrolman Roger Delin.

July 21: Ella Fitzgerald joined in a performance by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Henry Lewis, at Waterloo Village in Byram.


July 17, 1923: In baseball, The Y.M.H.A. defeated the St. Joseph's nine, 7-6, in the first lap of the Intermediate Twilight League.

July 20: Thomas Suer, Martin Manmon and Lewis Serrano, all of Bound Brook, convicted of committing an assault upon Mrs. A. Budwanski of South Bound Brook, were sentenced to spend from seven to 30 years each in the State Prison at Trenton. A fourth, Duci DeMotteo, was sent to Rahway Reformatory because of his age.

July 20: Police Chief Elmer Barrett conducted a raid at 2:30 a.m. on what had been known as "The Cow Shed," in the New Era section of New Market, which had a reputation for disorderly conduct on the part of the occupants and patrons.

July 22: Six people were injured, one of them seriously, between North Branch and Whitehouse, when a Ford car left the road and landed in a deep ditch. All of the occupants were thrown from the car and landed at various distances from it.

July 22: Olive and George Brasno, children of Mr. and Mrs. George Brasno of Old Bridge, were making a reputation for themselves with their dancing exhibitions. "They can certainly fox-trot," was the comment of many, it was reported.

July 23-24: The Willard-Firpo boxing match and "The Ragged Edge," starring Mimi Palmeri and Alfred Lunt, were shown at Reade's Strand Theatre in Perth Amboy.

Brad Wadlow is a staff writer for

No leniency in cold-blooded murder: This week in Central Jersey history, July 17-23 (2024)
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