Former Long Branch Cop Sentenced to Jail Time for Fatal DWI

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Category Archives: Homicide

Former Long Branch Cop Sentenced to Jail Time for Fatal DWI

Monmouth County NJ DWI Defense AttorneysAs reported by nj.com, former police detective Jake Pascucci has been sentenced to a year in County Jail for his part in a 2017 DWI fatality. Pascucci was off-duty at the time of the incident. The untimely death of a local woman is a tragic and unnecessary loss of life first and foremost. However, it is also an interesting case study showing a new law in effect, and how DWI cases are changing in our state. This case is historically significant, being the first usage of the new New Jersey strict liability vehicular homicide laws passed on July 21st 2017.

Today, our DWI criminal defense attorneys will review the details of this recent sentencing, discuss the implications for future DWI cases in New Jersey, and more.

Long Branch, NJ Detective Sentenced for Vehicular Homicide

In September 2017, 66 year old Karen Borkowski was struck and killed by a 2016 Jeep Cherokee traveling southbound on Ocean Boulevard in Long Branch, NJ. Borkowski was pronounced dead on the scene of the incident as a result of her injuries. The driver of the vehicle was off-duty police detective Jake Pascucci. Pascucci was a eight year veteran of the police force, even earning the honor of “Cop of the Month” in 2015.

At the time of the incident, Pascucci had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08, the minimum amount which determines that an individual was legally intoxicated. Earlier this year, Pascucci pleaded guilty as part of a deal in which he would expect to serve between zero (0) and five (5) years in county jail. This deal also allows his attorney, Steve Altman to appeal any sentencing. Altman has already indicated that he intends to appeal the decision and seek a reduced sentence.

Edward Burkowski, Karen’s surviving husband, stated that he was satisfied with the ruling and “I hope it holds up”. The appeal must be entered within 10 days of the decision. Pascucci expressed his regret of the incident in court via a statement which read in part, “Like all people, I’m susceptible to making mistakes. With that being said, I stand before the Borkowski family in this courtroom here to apologize.”

Monmouth County DWI Defense Attorneys Discuss New Strict Liability Laws

Our Monmouth County DWI defense attorneys view this case as a precedent setting event with some key considerations. This is indeed the first usage of the NJ strict liability vehicular homicide statutes, but it is anything but a typical vehicular homicide case. The vehicular homicide regulations were implemented after public outrage surrounding light sentences for DWI vehicular manslaughter and vehicle homicide cases. Previously, third degree convictions for first time offenders would typically carry no incarceration. This new law allows DWI cases where the victim is killed with a new crime distinction: third degree strict liability homicide.

As mentioned previously, Pascucci has received a one (1) year sentence with the potential to have that reduced. This is within the range allowable, but on the lower end. Our Monmouth County criminal defense attorneys expect this not to be a typical case for the following reasons:

  • Pascucci was a first time offender
  • Pascucci was tested at the minimum BAC to be considered legally drunk (one hundredth of a percentage less and the case would have been different)
  • As a police officer and community member, Pascucci showed that he was a responsible and conscientious person leading up to the crime

Facing DWI Charges? Contact our West Long Branch Criminal Defense Attorneys Today

The DWI criminal defense attorneys of Chamlin, Rosen, Uliano & Witherington have decades of legal experience defending the legal rights of clients across Monmouth County communities including West Long Branch, Freehold, Red Bank, Howell, Asbury Park, Middletown, and all of Central New Jersey. Our team employs a wide variety of tactics to contest the criminal charges leveled against our clients. We have a proven track record of having our clients’ DWI or DUI charges reduced or dismissed.

If your or a loved one are facing criminal charges in New Jersey, please contact us online or call our West Long Branch, NJ office today at (732) 440-3950 for a free and confidential consultation.

Off-Duty Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Long Branch, NJ Vehicular Homicide

On September 22nd, 2017, 66 year old Karen Borkowski was struck by a vehicle while crossing Ocean Boulevard in Long Branch. Borkowski was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident according to nj.com. The driver of the vehicle was off-duty police detective Jake Pascucci. As a result of this accident, detective Pascucci has pled guilty… Continue Reading

Two Suspects Indicted on First Degree Murder Charges in Connection with Brutal Killing of Lakewood NJ Man

An Ocean County grand jury recently indicted two men accused of murdering a Lakewood NJ man on Christmas Eve. The violent crime was allegedly committed on December 24, 2015 at a residence located on Laguna Lane in Lakewood, New Jersey. The victim, a 45-year-old man who lived at the house, was discovered by police that… Continue Reading

Tinton Falls Woman, Long Branch Man Accused of Murdering Friend, Burying Her in Backyard

Two people have been charged with the brutal murder of a Linden NJ woman. Now medical examiners have finished conducting an autopsy and have revealed that the victim likely died of strangulation. The suspects, a 33-year-old Tinton Falls woman and a 32-year-old Long Branch NJ man, allegedly plotted to kill the victim and then later… Continue Reading

Convicted Sex Offender, Murderer from Toms River NJ Accused of Violating Megan’s Law

A convicted sex offender from Toms River NJ was recently arrested after he allegedly failed to adhere to the requirements of his early release from prison. The 46-year-old suspect, who lives in Toms River NJ, was released from South Woods State Prison in Bridgeton New Jersey after serving a 30-year prison sentence. The suspect had… Continue Reading

Monmouth County Investigation results in Murder Conviction of Asbury Park man

After a lengthy trial in Monmouth County Superior Court, an Asbury Park man was convicted of charges including robbery and murder in connection with an incident that resulted in the death of a Brick, NJ man in 2013. According to Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni, 21 year-old Asbury Park resident Spencer S. Young, was convicted… Continue Reading

NJ Supreme Court Orders New Trial for Man in Neptune NJ Murder Case, but He Already Died

The New Jersey Supreme Court recently handed down a ruling that required Monmouth County prosecutors to re-try a murder case against a Neptune NJ man. However, the defendant won’t get the chance for a re-trial because he tragically died just a few days before the ruling was issued. The state’s highest court declared that David… Continue Reading

Neptune NJ Police Investigate Two Shootings, including Homicide on Neptune Township Street

Police are conducting an investigation after a Bradley Beach NJ man was shot and killed on a street in Neptune, New Jersey. The fatal shooting occurred around 8:18 p.m. According to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, the victim was standing outside a residence located on the 1300 block of 7th Avenue in Neptune NJ when… Continue Reading

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Chamlin, Rosen, Uliano & Witherington of West Long Branch, New Jersey, provides representation throughout Monmouth County including Asbury Park, Belmar, Colts Neck, Deal, Eatontown, Freehold, Hazlet, Holmdel, Howell, Lake Como, Long Branch, Manalapan, Manasquan, Marlboro Township, Middletown, Neptune, Oakhurst, Ocean Township, Redbank, Shrewsbury, Spring Lake, Tinton Falls, Wall Township, West Long Branch, and Freehold Township; Ocean County including Bayville, Brick, Jackson, Lakewood, Lakewood Township, Mantoloking, Point Pleasant, Point Pleasant Beach, and Toms River; Middlesex County including East Brunswick, Milltown, New Brunswick, Old Bridge Township, Perth Amboy, Sayreville, South Amboy, South River, and Spotswood.

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