The last of four defendants to be found guilty in connection with the shooting death of a victim from Eatontown in 2008 awaits an April 17 sentencing date


Lashawn Fitch, 23, of Neptune, was convicted of first-degree felony murder today in Monmouth County for the death of Nathaniel Wiggins. He was also found guilty of armed robbery, conspiracy and weapons counts, and remains in the Monmouth County Correctional Facility on $2,000,000 bail.

Kenneth M. Bacon-Vaughters, 24, of Asbury Park, was convicted of identical charges in March 2011 and was sentenced to 40 years in prison with a No Early Release Act (NERA) stipulation of serving 85 percent of the time before parole consideration.

Aron Pines, 23, of Neptune, was convicted in February 2012 of armed robbery and conspiracy. He was sentenced in May of that year to eight years in prison.

His brother, Tahj Pines, 28, also of Neptune, was convicted in December 2012 of murder, armed robbery and conspiracy and weapons offenses. He was given a 50-year sentence in May 2013, also subject to NERA.

Eatontown police found Wiggins on the floor of his Route 35 apartment at about 10:35 PM on March 11, 2008, bleeding profusely from a serious gunshot wound. He was rushed to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune where he died about seven hours later.

Investigators asserted that the four planned to rob Wiggins, determining that Bacon-Vaughters sought entry while Fitch and a third suspect remained hidden and the fourth suspect waited behind the wheel of the running car.

Wiggins, said authorities, opened his door in the belief that Bacon-Vaughters was alone, was rushed, and shot.