Monmouth County cold case has thawed as Long Branch man is charged with Murder
It's been more than a decade since Norberto Nieves was shot and killed along 7th Avenue in Long Branch and his accused killer has been brought to justice.
Monmouth County Prosecutor Chris Gramiccioni announced Thursday that Christopher Willis of Long Branch is being charged with first degree murder in a homicide that had gone unsolved for 11-years.
Nieves was gunned down on November 29, 2009 and the initial police investigation didn't lead to any arrests.
Investigators combed through and reviewed any evidence that came to light, physical and testimonial and up until recently, they couldn't crack the case.
Now they have and charges have been filed.
Prosecutor Gramiccioni said that the United States Marshals Service NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force assisted in taking Willis into custody and transporting him to the Monmouth County Correctional Institution where he awaits his First Appearance in court and Detention Hearing.
If convicted of murder, Willis faces a minimum sentence of 30 years in state prison without parole and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, subject to the provisions of the "No Early Release Act" which means he'll have to serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for release on parole and he would also be under parole supervision for five years following his release from state prison.
Willis has been arrested and charged but the investigation continues by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the Long Branch Police Department.
If you have any information about the case, call Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Detective Wayne Raynor at 800-533-7443 or Long Branch Police Department Detective Todd Coleman at 732-222-1000.
You can also submit anonymous tips to Monmouth County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-671-4400 or by downloading and using the free P3 Tips mobile app (available for iOS and Android - https://www.p3tips.com/community/index.htm).
The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Meghan Doyle, Director of the Cold Case Unit.