FREEHOLD - The suspect in an April 2016 shooting death outside the Neptune Township VFW hall is charged with first-degree murder, and would face 30 years to life in prison if convicted.

gun with bullets on steel
Sascha Burkard

Calvin Johnson, 40, of Neptune Township, also faces three first- and second-degree weapons charges for the death of Corey Basden, 33, of Neptune City, according to the office of Monmouth County Prosecutor Chris Gramiccioni.

Johnson is incarcerated on unrelated charges in Northern State Prison. His initial court appearance for the murder charge is November 1.

The investigation has endured for 18 months, and detectives believe that there are witnesses yet to step forward with more, perhaps critical, details.

Neptune Township police raced to the hall on Corlies Avenue at about 8 PM on April 18 last year. In the middle of a large crowd in the back parking lot, they found Basden, prone, with multiple gunshot wounds, authorities said. Basden was pronounced dead at 8:15.

The sentence for a murder conviction would require Johnson to serve at least 85 percent of the time, under New Jersey's No Early Release Act. He would also be subject to five years of parole supervision upon release.

Conviciton for possession of a firearm for unlawful purpose would place Johnson at risk of 10 years behind bars, with a mandatory parole ineligibility of half the time ordered or 42 months, whichever is greater, under terms of the Graves Act.

A conviction for unlawful possession of a weapon carries a possible 20-year prison term, also subject to the Graves Act provisions. Conviciton for the charge of certain persons not to possess weapons would mean a possible five to 10 years.

Witnesses with relevant information of circumstances leading to the gunfire, or the shooting itself, are urged to call Detective John Leibfried of the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Major Crimes Bureau, 1-800-533-7443, or Neptune PD Detective Eric Chunn, 732-988-8000.

Information can be given confidentially and anonymously through the Monmouth County Crime Stoppers web portal or Tip Line, 1-800-671-4400, or by texting "MONMOUTH" and the information to 274637.

Crime Stoppers pays up to $5,000 for information that leads to the arrests and convictions of criminals and fugitives.

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

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