Richard Busby, 61, formerly of Newark, was found guilty on Tuesday, September 25, 2018 of Robbery, Felony Murder, and Attempted Murder involving the July 31, 2011 home invasion robbery and arson in Freehold, announced Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.  Busby now faces a sentence of life in prison.

On the early morning hours of July 31, 2011, the Defendant Richard Busby and his accomplice Jeffery Mayhue broke into the Jackson Mills Road home shared by Michael Conway and Cheri Plamondon.  Mr. Conway and Ms. Plamondon were held at gunpoint, bound with zip-ties while the intruders searched their home for money, marijuana and other items of value.   During the robbery, Mr. Conway broke free and struggled with the intruders.  Mr. Conway was shot and died.  The intruders then set fire to the residence and fled.  Ms. Plamondon was able to free herself and escape the burning building.

The case was a joint investigation including detectives from the Monmouth County Prosecutors Office and members of the Freehold Township Police Department.  That investigation initially led to the arrest of Jeffery Mayhue and Richard Busby.

Mayhue previously pled guilty to charges of Armed Robbery and Felony Murder, crimes of the first degree.  On September 7, 2016, Mayhue was sentenced to 30 years in prison and must serve 30 years before being eligible for parole.

Subsequent to Mayhue’s plea, charges were signed against additional accomplices:  Ellis Goodson, 41, of Neptune and Ranu Sinha, 39, of Freehold.  Goodson and Sinha have pled guilty to charges related to this case and two other home invasion robberies and are pending sentence.

The trial, which began August 28, 2018, ended with the jury’s verdicts.  The Defendant was found guilty of First degree Felony Murder, first degree Attempted Murder and second degree Robbery.  The Defendant was found not guilty of additional charges including: Unlawful Possession of a Handgun, Possession of a Handgun for an Unlawful Purpose and Aggravated Arson.

The trial was conducted before a jury and Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Paul X. Escandon, J.S.C.

The charge of Felony Murder carries a sentence of 30 years to life in prison and is subject to the “No Early Release Act.”  The charge of Attempted Murder ordinarily carries a sentence of between 10 and 20 years in prison.  However, based on Busby’s prior criminal record, he faces a potential sentence of life in prison on that crime as well.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutors Sean J. Brennan and Lawrence Nelsen.

Busby was represented by John Perrone, Esq.

Sentencing is currently scheduled for November 30, 2018.

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