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Sussex County man sentenced to prison for 2020 Hunterdon County stabbing death

FLEMINGTON, NJ (Hunterdon County) – A 33-year-old Newton man was sentenced to prison for a deadly stabbing in Delaware Township, Hunterdon County Prosecutor Renée M. Robeson announced Wednesday.

Brandon E. Petersen was sentenced on Tuesday, August 22 before he Honorable Angela F. Borkowski, J.S.C. to an aggregate 60 year state prison term subject to the No Early Release Act. He will have to serve 85% of his sentence, that is, 51 years, before he is eligible for parole, Robeson said.

“This is an unspeakably tragic case and senseless murder, which has left Michelle Carkuff’s family without what should have been years to build memories for a lifetime. Her family consistently attended every day of the trial and shared with the Court the depth of the loss they suffered,” Robeson said.

Senior Assistant Prosecutor Tangerla Thomas also thanked the family for their courage and strength through the journey of the criminal prosecution.

Robeson acknowledges the diligent efforts of Senior Assistant Prosecutor Thomas, Assistant Prosecutor Christina Ludwig, and lead investigator Lieutenant Kristen Larsen, all of whom handled the case on behalf of the State, as well as the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office (HCPO) Criminal Investigations Unit, the HCPO Office of Victim Witness Advocacy, the Delaware Township Police Department, Pennsylvania State Police Dublin Barracks, New Jersey State Police, and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office for their combined efforts in connection with this investigation which resulted in Peterson’s conviction, and ultimately his state prison sentence.

A Hunterdon County jury returned a verdict finding Petersen guilty of first-degree murder, third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, fourth-degree unlawful possession of a weapon, and fourth-degree unlawful taking of a means of conveyance following a three-week trial that ended on May 26, Robeson said..

On Dec. 6, 2020, at around 9:13 p.m., officers from the Delaware Township Police Department responded to a report of a stabbing victim at a residence on Kingwood Stockton Road.

Upon arrival, they discovered that the victim, Michelle Carkhuff, 38, was transported by her friend to a local hospital in Mercer County where she died from her injuries. The suspect, later identified as Petersen, had fled the residence prior to officers arriving at the scene. Petersen was arrested the following morning in Upper Black Eddy, Pennsylvania.

Petersen was represented by Edward J. Hesketh, Esq.

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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