Franklin Man Sentenced To 60 Years In State Prison For 2015 Murder

Jahmmel Cephas, 35, of Franklin, was sentenced to 60 years in state prison on Dec. 21 for the Valentine’s Day 2015 murder of a Perth Amboy man. Phto: Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.

A 35-year-old township man was sentenced to 60 years in state prison Dec. 21 for the murder of a Perth Amboy man on Valentine’s Day in 2015.

Jahmmel Cephas was sentenced in New Brunswick by Superior Court Judge Colleen Flynn to 50 years in state prison for aggravated manslaughter, plus 10 years in prison for begin a certain person prohibited from having a weapon, according to a press release from the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.

Cephas was found guilty on September 6 for the fatal shooting of Richard Pryce, 31, of Perth Amboy. He was also found guilty of unlawful possession of a handgun, possession of a firearm with a purpose to use it unlawfully against the person of another, hindering his own apprehension, tampering with physical evidence and being a certain person prohibited from having a weapon.

Cephas’ 50-year sentence is subject to the No Early Release Act, which means he will have to serve 85 percent of that sentence before becoming eligible for parole.

The 10-year term carries with it a 5-year period of parole ineligibility.

Cephas had been previously convicted in  6 separate unrelated criminal cases, including a 2004 aggravated assault case in which he pointed a handgun at and pistol whipped the victim, according to the press release.

During a trial that began on August 15,  Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Brian Shevlin and Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Dize presented evidence and testimony showing Cephas shot Pryce multiple times on Amboy Avenue at the Barclay Street intersection following an argument at a bar on Amboy Avenue on February 14, 2015, according to the release.

After being shot, Pryce, who was there for a birthday party, returned to the bar and was rushed by friends to Raritan Bay Medical Center, in Perth Amboy. Pryce, a Perth Amboy youth counselor, was pronounced dead at the hospital at 3:02 a.m.

Cephas fled with the handgun after the shooting and remained at large until he was apprehended in DeKalb County, Georgia on March 20, 2015.

Participating in the investigation were Sgt. Sandra Rivera of the Perth Amboy Police Department, Detectives Jeffrey Temple and Kenneth Saunders, both formerly of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, and the U.S. Marshal’s Service Regional Fugitive Task Force, according to the release.


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