FREEHOLD – A local man who admitted to killing a woman in his Long Branch home in 2015 has been sentenced to 30 years in state prison, Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced Tuesday.

Christopher Aparicio-Reyes, 28, must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence prior to the possibility of parole under the provisions of New Jersey’s No Early Release Act (NERA), in accordance with the terms set down at sentencing by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Joseph W. Oxley.

Shortly after 10:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 13, 2015, members of the Long Branch Police Department responding to a home on the 100 block of Rockwell Avenue in Long Branch found 40-year-old Jennifer Pizzuto in an upstairs bedroom, having sustained numerous severe injuries. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

A fast-moving investigation involving members of the MCPO Major Crimes Bureau and the Long Branch Police Department resulted in Aparicio-Reyes being identified as a suspect, and he was apprehended in Long Branch shortly after 3 p.m. the next day, found hiding at a friend’s house – before he could follow through on a plan to flee across the country.

Evidence presented during a trial that ended in May 2018 revealed that Aparicio-Reyes had strangled Pizzuto after brutally beating her about her face and head following an argument, causing her death. He was convicted at trial and initially sentenced to life in prison before an appellate panel overturned his conviction on procedural grounds in August 2021 and ordered a new trial.

After consulting with Pizzuto’s surviving family, plea negotiations resulted in Aparicio-Reyes pleading guilty to Aggravated Manslaughter in May 2023.

This case was prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutors Christopher Matthews, now retired, and Joseph Competello.

Aparicio-Reyes was represented by Joshua Hood, Esq., with an office in Freehold.