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Morris County Supervising Assistant Prosecutor honored with 2021 NJ Women in Law Enforcement Prosecutorial Award

MORRIS COUNTY, NJ – The New Jersey Women in Law Enforcement, at their Annual Awards Ceremony held on May 17, honored Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Tia Manochio with their 2021 Prosecutorial Award.

Having begun her legal career with the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Manochio joined the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office in December 2002. She was initially assigned to the Domestic Violence Unit and was promoted to supervise the Domestic Violence Unit in July 2007.

During the course of her career, SAP Manochio has conducted numerous jury trials arising out of serious domestic violence incidents. Such trials include an Attempted Murder case as first chair – State v. Lynn Wilson, who was found guilty of Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose and other related crimes and sentenced to eight years in New Jersey State Prison (NJSP), subject to the No Early Release Act (NERA) for attempting to shoot her husband. In addition, she prosecuted two other Murder trials as second chair – State v. George Melendez, who was found guilty of murder for shooting his wife to death and sentenced to Life subject to NERA; and State v. Anthony Novellino, who was found guilty of stabbing his ex-wife to death and was sentenced to 50 years in NJSP subject to the NERA.

SAP Manochio is also responsible for supervising cases involving the return of weapons to persons involved in domestic violence incidents and the weapons forfeiture process. Last year, she prosecuted State v. Justin Allspach, a man accused of striking his female roommate in the head with a handgun. When police officers responded to the call, the defendant exited his residence with a rifle and pointed it at the responding officers. Allspach later pled guilty to Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, and Aggravated Assault for pointing the firearm at law enforcement. He was sentenced to five years in NJSP with a one-year period of parole ineligibility.

Over the past five years, SAP Manochio has worked collaboratively to enhance the Morris County Family Justice Center (FJC), which provides victims of domestic violence with counseling, protection, legal assistance, children’s services and more, all in one location. Every year, she is responsible for teaching the mandated Domestic Violence Annual In-Service Training Program in Morris County. In April 2021, she participated as a panelist at the Division of Criminal Justice’s Annual Domestic Violence Symposium.

SAP Manochio serves as Co-chair of the of the Morris County Domestic Violence Working Group. She is also a member of the Oversight Committee and Operations Committee, the Morris County Police Procedures Subcommittee of the Domestic Violence Working Group, and the Morris County Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Multi-Disciplinary Team. At the state level, she is a member of the New Jersey State Supreme Court Domestic Violence Working Group, representing the County Prosecutors Association of New Jersey (CPANJ). She continues to work with the Attorney General’s Office on revisions to the law enforcement section of the New Jersey Domestic Violence Procedures Manual, and serves in a working group for updating the NJ Learn Domestic Violence In-Service Training curriculum and participates in the newly-formed DV Firearms Weapon Forfeiture sub-committee.

Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Detective Supervisor Stephanie Merced, a member of the LGBTQ+ NJ Law Enforcement Liaisons, was also awarded the 2021 Benefactor Award for their work in the community, along with the rest of the liaison team.

“SAP Manochio has supervised numerous staff members in the Domestic Violence Unit with enthusiasm, and promotes integrity, teamwork, and collaboration with different agencies in her approach to these cases. She is committed on the county and state level in working to better standards and procedures for law enforcement and prosecutors in the investigation and prosecution of domestic violence cases. The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office is extremely fortunate to have her on our team,” Morris County Prosecutor Robert Carroll said.

“SAP Manochio was nominated for her outstanding performance and expertise in domestic violence. For over two decades, she has remained dedicated to helping victims of domestic violence and ensuring a measure of justice is found on their behalf in prosecuting these most difficult cases,” First Assistant Prosecutor Maggie Calderwood said.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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