Arrest made in connection with Linden homicide

Ashton Barthelus, 25, has been arrested and charged with being responsible for the fatal shooting that took place in Linden earlier this week, acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo and Linden Police Chief David Hart jointly announced Friday.

Barthelus, a Linden resident, is charged with first-degree murder and two related weapons offenses.

Shortly before 3:30 p.m. on Monday, October 26, members of the Linden Police Department responded to the 1600 block of East St. Georges Avenue and found 29-year-old Andy Rozelien of Linden at that location, having sustained serious injury, according to Union County Homicide Task Force Legal Supervisor and Assistant Prosecutor Scott M. Peterson, who is prosecuting the case. Rozelien was transported to Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth, where he was pronounced dead.

A fast-moving joint investigation led by the Homicide Task Force and assisted by members of the Linden Police Department, Union County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Unit, and Union County Police Department Ballistics Unit quickly resulted in Barthelus being identified as a suspect, and he was taken into custody without incident on Friday before being lodged in the Union County Jail, with a first appearance and detention hearing scheduled to take place in Superior Court during the coming days.

“I want to commend the members of our Homicide Task Force and each of the assisting agencies for their swift and stellar investigative work this week,” Prosecutor Ruotolo said. “With the recent uptick in gun violence, this arrest is emblematic of the urgency we all feel in ensuring that the public is kept safe and that perpetrators of the violence are brought to justice.”

“Thank you to the officers, detectives, and prosecutors from our agency, the Prosecutor’s Office, and all our law enforcement partners who worked around the clock to bring forth these charges,” Chief Hart said. “We are very proud of their work, and grateful to have such committed professionals protecting and serving our community.”           

Anyone with information about this matter is still being urged to contact Prosecutor’s Office Detective Lamar Hartsfield at 908-451-1873 or Sgt. Christopher Scuorzo at 908-472-0492.

Convictions on criminal charges of this nature are commonly punishable by terms of up to life in state prison.

These criminal charges are mere accusations. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.