Suspects tied to 2011 Monmouth break-ins, murder, arson indicted
Three of four suspects tied to a trio of 2011 home break-ins that included a Freehold Township man's death and the torching of his house move closer to trial.
Ellis W. Goodson, 38, of Neptune, Ranu Sinha, 36, of Manalapan, and Richard Busby, 58, of Newark, are charged in a 15-cound superseding indictment handed down by a Monmouth County grand jury Monday, according to the office of acting County Prosecutor Chris Gramiccioni.
A fourth defendant, Jeffrey Mayhue, 52, of Newark, is charged in a separate indictment.
Mayhue, Busby, Sinha and Goodson are being held in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution, Freehold Township. Bail for each is set at $1,500,000, cash only. No arraignment date has been set for Busby, Sinha and Goodson.
Charges stem from incidents that unfolded on May 14, July 31 and September 8, 2011, in Howell, Freehold and Neptune Townships.
Michael Conway was murdered in his Freehold home, authorities said. Mayhue pleaded guilty to first-degree felony murder and armed robbery on December 15. His plea agreement calls for an aggregate 30-year sentence without parole eligiblity.
Goodson and Sinha are charged with second-degree conspiracy connected to all three incidents.
On May 14, investigators said, Mayhue, armed with a handgun, entered a Brickyard Road home in Howell, bound the inhabitants and stole what they described as "a large sum of money." Goodson and Sinha, in relation to the episode, are charged as accomplices to first-degree armed robbery and second-degree counts of weapon possession and possession of a weapon for unlawuful purpose.
The incident of early July 31 left Conway dead in his Jackson Mills Road home in Freehold Township, authorities said. Mayhue and Busby, allegedly armed with a handgun, are accused of breaking into the house with Sinha and Goodson, looking for money, and encountering Conway and his girlfriend.
Investigators allege that Mayhue and Busby killed Conway, ignited the house and fled. Conway's girlfriend climbed through a window, rushed to a neighbor's house and urged the neighbor to call 911.
Related to the incident, the indictment against Goodson, Sinha and Busby includes first-degree armed robbery and felony murder, and second-degree counts of conspiracy, unlawful possesion of a weapon and possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose.
Busby is additionally charged with first-degree aggravated arson and attempted murder, along with a second-degree count of certain persons not to possess firearms.
On September 8, Mayhue allegedly forced his way into a Drummond Avenue house in Neptune Township, wielding what appeared to be a handgun. Investigators said that the intended victims foiled the attemped and held Mayhue until police arrived.
In connection with the third incident, Goodson and Sinha are indicted as accomplices to first-degree armed robbery and fourth-degree possession of an imitation firearm for an unlawful purpose.
Felony murder charges, on conviction, carry minimum sentences of 30 years without parole, subject to New Jersey's No Early Release Act (NERA), up to maximum life terms.
Conviction for armed robbery can mean up to 20 years in prison and a requirement to serve 85 percent before parole eligibility, under NERA. An attempted murder conviction transaltes to up to 20 years in prison subject to NERA.
Convictions of second-degree conspiracy and aggravated arson carry maximum 10-year sentences. A conviction for the charge of certain persons not to have weapons can mean up to 10 years in prison, five without parole consideration.