Antonio Suarez-Perez was sentenced to consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole for his role in the 2009 shooting deaths of Sidney Wakefield, of Long Branch, and Joseph Fann, of Middletown, on Locust Avenue in Red Bank, the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office announced Friday.
Suarez-Perez, a Red Bank resident, was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder after the jury determined that the 24-year-old committed the murders by his "own hand," a release sates, as well as the existence of other aggravating factors.
He was also convicted of several other offenses, including possession of a handgun for unlawful purposes, unlawful possession of a handgun, and tampering with physical evidence after he threw the handgun used in the shooting out of a car window.
According to court documents, Red Bank Police were dispatched to Locust Avenue at 1:35 a.m. on the morning of Feb. 10, 2009, following multiple 911 calls. There they found Fann, 23, dead inside of a car. The 26-year-old Wakefield was discovered on the nearby corner of Locust Avenue and Leighton Place.
Both had suffered multiple gunshot wounds.
Red Bank Ptlm. James DePonte spotted a dark-colored Audi containing three people leaving the scene. Minutes later the car was stopped traveling north on Route 35 where police found Suarez-Perez along with Eric Figueras, 28, of Red Bank, and Samson Hearn, 30, of Fair Haven.
It was determined following an investigation that the shooting followed a chance meeting between the suspects and the victims at a nearby gas station. Eventually, Suarez-Perez confronted the two victims in the area of Locust Avenue and shot them both.
Hearn and Figueras pleaded guilty to second-degree hindering the apprehension of Suarez-Perez and received five years probation each, according to the prosecutor's office.