SOMERVILLE, NJ (Somerset County) – Two men have been sentenced in the November 2020 killing of a Franklin Township man at a barbershop in Somerset County, according to Somerset County Acting Prosecutor Annmarie Taggart.
On Tuesday, May 10, the Honorable Peter J. Tober, P.J.Cr., sentenced Tayyab A. Ware, 31, of Augusta, GA, to thirty-five years in New Jersey State Prison, with 30 years to be served without parole eligibility. He was also ordered to pay $25,000 in restitution to the Victims of Crime Compensation Office (VCCO) for expenses paid to the victim’s family, Taggart said.
Todd C. Smith, 32, of Edison was sentenced to ten years’ New Jersey State Prison, 85% of that term to be served without parole pursuant to the No Early Release Act, Taggart said.
On February 15, Ware was convicted by a Somerset County Jury of first-degree murder, first-degree felony murder, first-degree robbery, second-degree conspiracy to commit robbery, second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and second-degree unlawful possession of a handgun. The 35-year sentence was imposed on the murder charge with other sentences for the lesser crimes either merging or running concurrent to the top charge. Smith pled guilty to robbery for his role in the incident, Taggart said.
On Monday, November 2, 2020, at around 8:41 p.m., Franklin Township Police responded to numerous 9-1-1 calls reporting a shooting victim inside of a barbershop located on Hamilton Street in the Somerset section of Franklin Township, Taggart said.
Officers located Denny Sanchez, 34, from Franklin Park suffering from a gunshot wound inside of the establishment. Officers immediately began to administer lifesaving measures along with responding emergency medical personnel, Taggart said.
Sanchez was transported to an area trauma center where he was subsequently pronounced dead. An autopsy performed by the Northern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Sanchez’s death a homicide, Taggart said.
A two-month homicide investigation was conducted by the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit and the Franklin Township Police Department.
As a result of this investigation, Smith was apprehended without incident by detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit and the Franklin Township Police Department after being observed in a shopping area in Clark. At the time of his arrest, he was found to be in possession of a firearm. Smith was charged with first-degree murder, first-degree robbery, second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon, Taggart said.
Then detectives assigned to the homicide investigation travelled to Augusta, Georgia. On Wednesday, December 30, 2020, at around 7:50 a.m., Ware was apprehended without incident at a residence in Augusta by members of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigations Atlanta Field Office. He was charged with first-degree murder, first-degree robbery, and second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. He was subsequently extradited back to New Jersey by Somerset County authorities, Taggart said.
“I like to thank all of the investigators assigned to the investigation to include members of the Richmond County Georgia Sheriff’s Office, members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Atlanta Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigations Newark Field Office, and the United States Secret Service for their assistance in this investigation,” Taggart said.