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Two Men Sentenced For 2020 Murder Of Township Man

Tayyab A. Ware of Augusta, Ga. and Todd Smith of Edison, left to right, were sentenced May 10 for the murder of a Franklin Park resident. (Photos: Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office.)

Two men were sentenced to state prison on May 10 for their role in the 2020 murder of a township man.

Tayyab A. Ware, 31, of Augusta, Ga. was sentenced to 35 years in state prison and Todd C. Smith, 32, of Edison was sentenced to 10 years in state prison by Superior Court Judge Peter J. Tober for the Nov. 2, 2020 murder of 34-year-old Denny Sanchez of Franklin Park.

Ware will have to serve 30 years before he can be considered for parole, and Smith will have to serve 85 percent iof his sentence before eligible for parole. Ware also has to pay $25,000 to the Victims of Crime Compensation Office (VCCO) for expenses paid to the victim’s family, according to a release from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office.

Ware was convicted on Feb. 15, 2022 of charges of 1st Degree Murder, 1st Degree Felony Murder, 1st Degree Robbery, 2nd Degree Conspiracy to Commit Robbery, 2nd Degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose and 2nd Degree Unlawful Possession of a Handgun, according to the release.  The 35-year sentence was imposed on the murder charge with other sentences for the lesser crimes either merging or running concurrent to the top charge, according to the release.

Smith pled guilty to Robbery for his role in the incident, the release said.

At about 8:41 p.m. on Nov. 2, 2020, township police responded to multiple 9-1-1 calls reporting a shooting in a Hamilton Street barber shop.

Upon arrival police found Sanchez suffering from a gunshot wound. Police and emergency medical personnel performed life-preserving measures, but Sanchez was declared dead later at a nearby trauma center, according to the release.

FTPD detectives and detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit conducted a two-month investigation into the murder, the release said.

Smith was caught at a Clark shopping center, and Ware was caught on December 30, 2020 in an Augusta, Ga. home, the release said.

Assisting in the investigation were the Richmond County Georgia Sheriff’s Office, members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Atlanta Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigations Newark Field Office, and the United States Secret Service.

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