Long Branch massacre: Teen’s court appearance remains closed to public
FREEHOLD BOROUGH —A Superior Court judge has kept a hearing for the teen accused of gunning down his family and a friend closed to the public.
Monmouth County Assignment Judge Lisa Thornton ruled against the Tuesday application by Gannett New Jersey, owner of the Asbury Park Press, to open the proceeding. The request caused the hearing to be postponed until Wednesday at 11 a.m.
Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said retention hearings for juvenile defendants, which are held in Family Court, are usually quick. The judge will review the charges for the teen, who has been identified in the media as Scott Kologi, and explain his juvenile rights.
A probable cause hearing on Friday will require prosecutors to make their case to the judge to keep the teen in custody. The teen is being held at the Middlesex County Youth Detention Center, where he would likely remain even if he is tried as an adult.
Kologi is charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the shooting of his parents, sister and family friend at close range inside their Long Branch home just before midnight on New Year's Eve. At a news conference on Tuesday, Gramiccioni said that how much detail he could publicly release on the case hinged on the judge's decision.
Gramiccioni said that he would seek to have the case transferred to the adult system. It will be up to the family court judge to make the decision, according to Gramiccioni.
"This juvenile is entitled to certain procedural rights which we will go through and we'll see if it takes us to adult court or not.The state intends to do so," Gramiccioni said.
The Kologis and 70-year-old Mary Schulz were remembered at a vigil on Tuesday night at Franklin Lake Park in West Long Branch.
“They were just wonderful people. There’s not enough words in the world to sum up how great they were,” organizer Shannon Nutley said of the Kologi family.
Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.