PHILLIPSBURG, NJ (Warren County) – A Phillipsburg man has entered a guilty plea to aggravated manslaughter and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, Warren County Prosecutor Richard Burke said.
Salim R. Newton, 30, whose last known address was the 500 block of South Main St in Phillipsburg, pled guilty to first-degree aggravated manslaughter and second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose in Warren County Superior Court on Tuesday.
During his plea allocution, Newton admitted that on September 18, 2013 he possessed a handgun in Phillipsburg, NJ with the purpose to use it against 22-year-old Melissa Williams, Burke said.
Newton further admitted that he caused the death of Williams with the firearm. Her body was found on September 18 in her Spruce Alley home.
Following the death of Williams, Newton had eluded capture in the weeks that followed, but authorities in Warren County said they developed information that tracked him to Virginia.
Newton was arrested at 10:30 a.m. on October 23, 2013 by the U.S. Marshals Service and Virginia police, who conducted surveillance of a home in Richmond, after authorities in Warren County tracked Newton to that location.
In exchange for Newton’s pleas, he will serve 24 years in prison, with the no early release act. He must serve 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole, which also requires an additional 5 years of parole supervision upon release, prosecutor said.