Linden man arrested, charged for New Year’s Eve homicide

A Linden man has been arrested and criminally charged with killing a woman in his apartment on New Year’s Eve, acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo and Linden Police Chief David Hart jointly announced Saturday.

Edward T. Sokowski, 62, of the 200 block of South Wood Avenue, is charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of 62-year-old Kim E. Lewandowski, also of Linden.

At approximately 8:08 p.m. on Thursday, December 31, members of the Linden Police Department responded to Sokowski’s apartment and found Lewandowski there, having sustained serious injury, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Michael Cleaver, who is prosecuting the case. Shortly after 8:30 p.m., she was pronounced dead.

An investigation led by the Union County Homicide Task Force and assisted by members of the Linden Police Department and Union County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Unit quickly resulted in Sokowski being identified as a suspect in the case. Shortly after the Union County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Lewandowski’s manner of death to be a homicide, with the cause of death determined to be manual strangulation, he was arrested and lodged in the Union County Jail Friday evening.

“I’d like to commend the professionalism and swiftness with which this investigation was conducted,” Prosecutor Ruotolo said. “Barely 24 hours elapsed from the time of the initial callout through the autopsy and investigation and on to the arrest, bringing swift justice to a defendant who committed a horrific crime.”

Anyone with information about this matter is still being urged to contact Task Force Sgt. Johnny Ho at 908-403-8271 or Detective Sonia Rodriguez at 908-341-3380.

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.