Hackettstown man indicted in deadly DWI hit-and-run crash that killed Centenary University president’s wife
HACKETTSTOWN, NJ (Warren County) – A Hackettstown man was indicted Tuesday for a deadly DWI hit-and-run crash that killed Centenary University First Lady Jeanne Murphy, wife of President Bruce Murphy, Ed.D.
Jefferson Chimbo-Pelaez, 25, was indicted by a Warren County grand jury on first-degree aggravated manslaughter, first-degree death by auto, second-degree leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, third-degree strict liability vehicular homicide, and third-degree endangering an injured victim, according to the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office.
The aggravated manslaughter charge carries a maximum potential sentence of 30 years in New Jersey State Prison, first-degree crimes carry a maximum potential sentence of 20 years in New Jersey State Prison, second- degree crimes carry a maximum potential sentence of 10 years in New Jersey State Prison, and third-degree crimes carry a maximum potential sentence of 5 years in New Jersey State Prison.
Chimbo-Pelaez was also charged with a number of motor vehicle offenses including driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, careless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, failure to report, and for being an unlicensed driver, authorities said.
Murphy, 70, from Hackettstown was struck by Chimbo-Pelaez’s vehicle and then fled the scene on Saturday, Jan. 7, at around 7:30 a.m., on Reese Ave near First Ave, police said.
Chimbo-Pelaez was allegedly intoxicated at the time and did not stop to render aid or summon assistance, prosecutor’s office said.
Murphy was transported to Hackettstown Medical Center and then flown to Morristown Medical Center where she was pronounced dead on Sunday, Jan. 8, at 12:00 p.m., police said.
Chimbo-Pelaez remains held at the Warren County Correctional Facility.