MORRISTOWN, NJ (Morris County) – A judge in Morris County has re-sentenced a former Wharton teacher to 20 years in prison for killing her boyfriend, who was a retired New York City police officer.
Virginia Vertetis, 59, of Mount Olive Township was originally sentenced to 30 years behind bars for shooting Patrick Gilhuley in 2014 in Mount Olive Township. However, her initial conviction of murder and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose was reversed on appeal in March 2020.
The underlying incident was first reported to police just before 10:00 p.m. on March 3, 2014, when Mount Olive police responded to 2 Apollo Way in the Flanders section of the township after a 911 call by the victim’s daughter, Morris County Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll said.
First responding officers found the body of Gilhuley, immediately inside the front entrance of Vertetis’ home. Gilhuley was pronounced dead at the scene and Vertetis was arrested shortly afterwards. The investigation would reveal that Vertetis fatally shot the victim within her home, Carroll said.
On September 28, Vertetis entered a guilty plea to an amended charge of first-degree aggravated manslaughter before the Honorable Stephen J. Taylor, P.J.Cr. Vertetis’ initial conviction for murder and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose had been reversed on appeal in March 2020, and the case was remanded for a new trial, Carroll said.
On November 18, Judge Taylor adopted the negotiated sentence recommendation and imposed 20 years imprisonment subject to No Early Release Act. Vertetis was given approximately 7 1/2 years of jail credit since the time she was initially arrested and taken into custody, Carroll said.
Prosecutor Carroll thanked the agencies that participated in the investigation that led to the successful guilty plea, including the Mount Olive Police Department, Crime Scene Investigation Unit of the Morris County Sheriff’s Office, Morris County Medical Examiner’s Office, and the New Jersey State Police Office of Forensic Sciences, and the Major Crimes Unit of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office.