FREEHOLD – Two local men were arrested earlier this week and criminally charged in connection with a pair of shooting incidents that took place over the course of three days in Long Branch last fall, Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced Thursday.
Steven L. Worsley Jr., 30, of Eatontown and Ronald T. Gilliard, 30, of Long Branch are both charged with two counts of first-degree Conspiracy to Commit Murder, two counts of first-degree Attempted Murder, and six second-degree weapons offenses.
Shortly before 2 a.m. on Saturday, October 8, 2022, members of the Long Branch Police Department responded to a report of three adult males receiving treatment at local hospitals, each having sustained injuries due to gunfire. Later that same day, officers responded to the 300 block of Waverly Place, where they recovered evidence that a shooting had taken place at that location, with a vehicle also struck by gunfire.
Then, shortly after 2:30 p.m. on Monday, October 10, 2022, members of the Long Branch Police Department responded to a report of shots being fired in the area of Rockwell Avenue and Halberton Place. At that location, officers recovered evidence that a second shooting had taken place, with a house struck by gunfire and no known shooting victims.
An investigation resulted in Worsley and Gilliard being identified as suspects in the case, and they were apprehended separately without incident in Asbury Park and Neptune Township, respectively, on Tuesday, February 14. Both defendants were subsequently lodged in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution (MCCI) pending first appearances and detention hearings to take place in Monmouth County Superior Court.
“The arrests and charges being announced today were the result of outstandingly well-coordinated and thorough investigative work by the MCPO Major Crimes, Gangs, and Forensic Bureaus; the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office; the Asbury Park, Long Branch, Neptune Township, and West Long Branch Police Departments; and other federal, state, and county agencies, which quickly came together to pool resources in order to address a sudden and troubling uptick in gun violence in the area,” Prosecutor Santiago said. “These were not the first apprehensions made in connection with those efforts, and we firmly believe that they will not be the last.”
Anyone with information about these incidents is still being asked to contact Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Detective Joshua Rios or Thomas Manzo at 800-533-7443, or Long Branch Police Department Detective Nicholas Romano at 732-222-1000, Ext. 2.
Anyone who feels the need to remain anonymous but has information about this or any crime can submit a tip to Monmouth County Crime Stoppers by calling their confidential telephone tip-line at 1-800-671-4400; by downloading and using the free P3 Tips mobile app (available on iOS and Android – https://www.p3tips.com/1182); or by going to the website at www.monmouthcountycrimestoppers.com.
Convictions on first-degree criminal charges can be punishable by up to 20 years in state prison.
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.