Two Monmouth men risk up to 20 years in prison apiece, if convicted of attempted murder connected to January 13 shootings in West Long Branch that left two victims injured.

Gun - isolated on white background
Boris Katsman

Michael A. Seward, 29, of Neptune, and Rayshawn J. Jones, 26, of Long Branch, also face three second-degree weapons-related charges and fourth-degree counts of refusing to allow collection of a DNA sample.

They were apprehended Thursday night, according to the office of Monmouth County Prosecutor Chris Gramiccioni. Both are being held without bail in the Monmouth County Correcitonal Institution in Freehold, pending a scheduled January 25 detention hearing.

Investigators contend that at about 11:42 PM on January 13, Seward and Jones approached two people who were in a car next to the La Quinta Inn on Route 36, opened fire with handguns, and hit both.

Police said that Seward and Jones ran from the spot while the victims drove to hospitalization before officers arrived. Their injuries were described as non-life-threatening, and both have since been released.

If convicted of the first-degree attempted murder charges, both defendants would be required to serve at least 85 percent of their sentences on the charge before parole eligibility, in accordance with New Jersey's No Early Release Act.

Each weapons charge carries a possible 10-year sentence on conviction. Under the Graves Act, they would be required to serve at least half the term or 42 months, whichever is longer, for each count.

The charge of refusing to give a DNA sample carries a possible prison term of up to 18 months.

The state's case is led by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Matthew Bogner. Red Bank attorney Steven Pascarella represents Seward. Jones's defense is being handled by attorney Regina Rucco of Freehold.,

Charges are accusations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless, and until, found guilty in a court of law.

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