The third defendant convicted in relation to a 2008 murder in Eatontown is sentenced to 50 years in prison.
Tahj J. Pines, 27, of Neptune, was convicted in December in Monmouth County for the shooting death of Nathaniel Wiggins, 24.
The sentence is also subject to New Jersey’s No Early Release Act, according to acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Chris Grammiccioni. Pines will be required to serve 85 percent of his term before parole eligibility. That equals 42 years, six months and two days.
His brother Aron T. Pines, 23, also of Neptune, is in custody to begin a maximum of eight years for his 2012 conviction on robbery and conspiracy charges. He was sentenced in May following the jury’s decision in February.
Kenneth M. Bacon-Vaughers, 23, of Asbury Park, is serving a 40-year sentence for his March 2011 conviction on murder, robbery, conspiracy and weapons charges. Neither Bacon-Vaughters nor Aron Pine are eligible for parole until they’ve served 85 percent of their terms.
A fourth defendant, Lashawn Fitch, 22, of Neptune, has yet to go to trial.
County investigators say Wiggins was found on the floor of his apartment with a gunshot wound shortly after police responded to a 911 call of shots fired on Route 35 on the night of March 11, 2008. Wiggins died the following day at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune.
Authorities determined that the Pines brothers, Fitch and Bacon-Vaughters drove to Wiggins’s apartment together to rob him. They say that Aron Pines kept the car ready to go while the other three approached the dwelling.
According to evidence at trial, Wiggins opened the door upon recognizing Bacon-Vaughters while a masked Tahj Pines and Fitch stayed out of eyesight. A shot fired during the robbery attempt was all that was needed to end Wiggins’s life.