Murder Charge Issued in 2009 Long Branch Killing

FREEHOLD –   A Long Branch man has been charged in a homicide that had remained unsolved for eleven years, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

Christopher Willis, 31, of Long Branch, was charged with one count of first degree murder related to the death of Norberto Nieves.

On November 29, 2009, Norberto Nieves, 36, of Long Branch was shot and killed in the vicinity of 136 7th Avenue in Long Branch.

An investigation was initiated into the homicide by the Long Branch Police Department. At the time of Nieves’ murder, the initial investigation did not yield any arrests.  Additional evidence from the original crime scene was compared to other physical and testimonial evidence recently obtained during the cold case investigation, which resulted in charges being filed against the defendant.

With the assistance of the United States Marshals Service NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force, Willis was taken into custody and transported to the Monmouth County Correctional Institution in Freehold Township as he awaits his First Appearance and Detention Hearing.

The case is being investigated by members of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the Long Branch Police Department. Anyone with information about this case is urged to call Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Detective Wayne Raynor at 800-533-7443 or Long Branch Police Department Detective Todd Coleman at 732-222-1000.

Anyone who feels the need to remain anonymous but has information about a crime can submit a tip to Monmouth County Crime Stoppers by calling their confidential telephone tip-line at 1-800-671-4400; or by downloading and using the free P3 Tips mobile app (available for iOS and Android –

If convicted of murder, Willis faces a minimum sentence of 30 years in a New Jersey state prison without parole and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, subject to the provisions of the “No Early Release Act” (NERA) requiring him to serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for release on parole. He would also be under parole supervision for five years following his release from state prison.

The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Meghan Doyle, Director of the Cold Case Unit

Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.