FREEHOLD – On February 23, 2017, Diquan Speights, 23, of Asbury Park, appeared in Monmouth County Superior Court and pled guilty to first degree Aggravated Manslaughter, second degree Aggravated Assault and fourth degree Aggravated Assault by Pointing a Firearm, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced.
Speights entered his guilty plea pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Joseph W. Oxley. Judge Oxley is scheduled to sentence Speights on June 2, 2017 in connection with the killing of Jamal Small, 24, the assault on Tyreek Small, 25, and the assault on Tieshe Small, 29, all of Asbury Park.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office will recommend that Speights receive a term of 16 years in New Jersey State Prison, subject to the provisions of the No Early Release Act, which requires that defendant serve 85 percent of the sentence before he is eligible for release on parole. Once released, Speights will be on parole supervision for a period of five years. The plea agreement was reached after full consultation with, and with the approval of, the victim’s family.
On December 20, 2015, at approximately 11:56 a.m., members of the Asbury Park Police Department responded to a shooting reported at 1039 Summerfield Avenue, Asbury Park. Once on scene, they found both Jamal Small and Tyreek Small suffering from gunshot wounds. Jamal was transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center where he later died as a result of the gunshot wounds suffered.
The investigation, which was handled jointly by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and Asbury Park Police Department, clearly established that Speights was responsible for the shooting and subsequent death of Jamal Small. During his plea, Speights admitted to firing 5 shots into the car where both Jamal and Tyreek Small were seated. The investigation further revealed that just minutes prior to the shooting, Speights pointed and threatened Tieshe Small with a handgun, the same gun used to later kill Jamal Small.
The prosecution of this case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutors Maria Franceschini and Martha Nye.
Speights is represented by Carlos Diaz-Cobo, Esq., of New Brunswick.