One of two men arrested and indicted for murdering a Brick man at the Hampton Gardens Apartments in Toms River in a drug deal gone wrong in 2018, has been found guilty and faces life in prison.

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer announced Monday that Anthony Barksdale, 26, New York was found guilty following a jury trial who concluded that "beyond a reasonable doubt Barksdale purposely or knowingly caused the death" of 30-year old Steven Stallworth of Brick Township.

The jury also found Barksdale guilty of Conspiracy to Commit Murder, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, and Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose.

Barksdale will continue to remain lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending sentencing by Judge Ryan on August 19, 2020, at which time the State will be seek a sentence of life imprisonment.

Prosecutor Billhimer applauds the diligence and dedication of Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Michael Abatemarco and Senior Assistant Prosecutor Robert Cassidy, who ably and skillfully tried the case on behalf of the State.

The Prosecutor likewise extends his gratitude to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Toms River Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Toms River Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit for their combined assistance in securing this guilty verdict.

“I am extremely proud of the team effort exhibited by members of my office and the other law enforcement agencies involved in bringing Anthony Barksdale to justice. This was a horrendous murder, and Mr. Stallworth’s family has been forced to endure much suffering as a result. I hope this guilty verdict provides them with some level of peace and closure.” Prosecutor Billhimer said. “I would also like to compliment Judge Ryan, who presided over this trial with great care and thoughtfulness, as well as the jurors - who demonstrated a remarkable commitment to their oaths in reaching this verdict. The trial commenced in early March of this year, prior to the onset of the coronavirus, but needed to be suspended due to health and safety concerns related to the pandemic. The trial was permitted to reconvene last week, and the judge and jury have remained steadfast in their obligations throughout this arduous process. I am truly grateful for their dedication to seeking the truth – particularly in light of the current circumstances due to Covid-19.”

On March 5, 2018, Steven Stallworth was found unresponsive by responding officers and EMS crews outside of building "D" suffering from a gunshot wound and was pronounced dead about an hour later.

Barksdale's and the other suspect Sevon Hill's names then came up as possible suspects who were both living at a local hotel prior to the murder.

A check of their room on the night by law enforcement of the murder uncovered a mass amount of cocaine and heroin.

Both men were later arrested.

Hill and Barksdale were indicted in August of 2018.

You can follow Vin Ebenau on Twitter and Instagram and email news tips to vin.ebenau@townsquaremedia.com.

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