Essex County man convicted on all counts in 2015 killing of Rahway woman

A Union County jury has reached guilty verdicts on all 10 counts, including murder, against an Essex County man who killed a Rahway woman in her home a little less than three years ago, acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan announced Wednesday.

Roberto Grillo, 39, of Bloomfield was convicted in connection with the death of 35-year-old Yolanda Vega following jury deliberations on Tuesday and an approximately four-week trial before state Superior Court Judge Robert Kirsch.

Members of the Union County Homicide Task Force and the Rahway Police Department responded to a home on Beacon Street in Rahway during the early hours of Monday, December 7, 2015 and found Vega’s body inside; she was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Melissa Spagnoli, who prosecuted the case. An autopsy performed by the Union County Medical Examiner’s Office determined Vega’s manner of death to be homicide, with the cause of death determined to be strangulation, Spagnoli said.

An intensive joint investigation involving the Homicide Task Force, the Prosecutor’s Office’s High Tech Unit, the Rahway Police Department, the Linden Police Department, and the Union County Sheriff’s Office Identification Unit resulted in Grillo, who was known to Vega and her family, being identified as a suspect in the case. He was charged approximately one week after Vega’s death while in custody at Union County Jail, having been arrested by Linden police for trespassing at the Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery in Linden on the evening of Sunday, December 6, 2015 – approximately 90 minutes after Vega was killed, and at a location less than half a mile from her home.

Immediately following the murder charge being filed, bail for Grillo was set at $2 million by state Superior Court Judge William Daniel. A Union County grand jury handed down a 10-count indictment against Grillo in May 2016, charging him with first-degree murder, first-degree felony murder, second-degree burglary, six related weapons offenses, and fourth-degree criminal trespassing.

Sentencing in the case has been scheduled for Friday, December 7, 2018, at which time Grillo will be subject to a term of up to life in state prison.