FREEHOLD – A Hazlet man has been arrested and criminally charged with breaking into his father’s home yesterday and attacking two relatives, killing one of them, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced Thursday.

Ernest K. Kotey, 43, is charged with first-degree Murder, second-degree Burglary, and second-degree Domestic Violence Strangulation in connection with the death of Nikoi Kotey, 77, and neck injuries sustained by a 67-year-old female.

Shortly after midnight on Wednesday, August 17, members of the Hazlet Police Department responded to a home on the 300 block of Middle Road and found Nikoi Kotey unresponsive in a bedroom. He was transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead shortly before 5:45 p.m. yesterday.

An investigation involving members of the MCPO Major Crimes Bureau and the Hazlet Police Department determined that Ernest Kotey had broken in to the home via a rear entrance, confronted his father, and physically attacked him, causing fatal injuries. He then returned downstairs to attack his aunt, grabbing her by the throat until she managed to free herself and escape the house. Kotey was arrested at the scene and later transported to the Monmouth County Correctional Institution (MCCI), where he remains lodged pending a detention hearing to take place in Monmouth County Superior Court. 

This case has been assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Michael Luciano. Information on Kotey’s legal representation was not immediately available.

Anyone with any information about this matter is urged to contact Prosecutor’s Office Detective Brian Migliorisi at 800-533-7443 or Hazlet Police Department Detective Tristao at 732-264-6565.

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