A Lakewood man is heading to prison following a series of guilty pleas and a sentence handed down in court for fatally stabbing a man along 2nd Avenue in the township, according to Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer.

On August 31, 2020, Lakewood Police responded to several 911 calls about a man who had been stabbed outside of a business on 2nd Avenue.

Once on scene, police found 29-year-old Rodrigo Jimenez-Paz of Lakewood suffering from a stab wound to his chest.

Lakewood Police car outside Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus. (The Lakewood Scoop)
Lakewood Police car outside Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus. (The Lakewood Scoop)
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Jimenez-Paz was quickly brought to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune City where lifesaving efforts were attempted but the Lakewood man ultimately passed away at the hospital from his injuries.

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The on-scene investigation by Lakewood Police and the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office Major Crimes Unit and High Tech Crime Unit led to Jorge Santiago-Garcia, 33, of Lakewood being identified as the suspect in the stabbing and he was promptly arrested and brought to the Ocean County Jail where he has been since August 31, 2020.

(Photo Courtesy: Ocean County Prosecutors Office)
(Photo Courtesy: Ocean County Prosecutors Office)
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Santiago-Garcia later plead guilty to multiple charges and has now been sentenced to twenty-five years in New Jersey State Prison for Aggravated Manslaughter which Prosecutor Billhimer said is subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act, meaning that he will be required to serve at least 85 percent of his prison sentence before he may be considered for parole eligibility.

Prosecutor Billhimer also announced that Ocean County Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Kristin Pressman, Ocean County Senior Assistant Prosecutor Mara Brater, and Ocean County Assistant Prosecutor Kaitlyn Burke handled the case on behalf of the State of New Jersey.

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