Linden man admits to fatal shooting

A Linden man has admitted to fatally shooting a neighbor late last year, Union County First Assistant Prosecutor Albert Cernadas Jr. announced Tuesday.

Appearing before state Superior Court Judge Candido Rodriguez, Jr. on Monday, 24-year-old Shansey Abernathy pleaded guilty to a single count of first-degree aggravated manslaughter in connection with the death of 27-year-old Alphonso Pearson. 

Shortly after 12:45 p.m. on Wednesday, December 20, 2017, members of the Linden Police Department responded to the 800 block of Cleveland Avenue on a report of a shooting and found Pearson outside of his home, suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Jeremiah Lenihan, who prosecuted the case. Pearson was rushed to Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth, where he was pronounced dead, Lenihan said.

An ensuing investigation led by Prosecutor’s Office Detective Lamar Hartsfield and involving the Union County Homicide Task Force, Union County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Unit, Union County Police Department Ballistics Unit, and Linden Police Department quickly resulted in Abernathy being identified as a suspect in the case, and he turned himself in to authorities the day after the shooting.  

The State intends to recommend a term of 25 years in state prison when Abernathy is sentenced later this year.