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Marco Tulio Alvarez Lopez of Lakewood Township Sentenced

Toms River, New Jersey – On January 28, 2016, the Honorable Patricia B. Roe, J.S.C., sentenced defendant Marco Tulio Alvarez Lopez of Lakewood Township to 15 years in New Jersey State Prison subject to the No Early Release Act, which requires him to serve 12 years and 9 months before he can be considered for parole eligibility, on charges of first degree attempted murder.

On Wednesday October 21, 2015, an Ocean County Jury seated before the Honorable Patricia B. Roe, J.S.C., found defendant Marco Tulio Alvarez Lopez guilty of first degree attempted murder and related weapons charges.

The charges stemmed from August 23, 2014, in Lakewood Township. Officer Kevin Seunath responded to a stabbing at 346 Laurel Avenue. He found the victim, Mario Vasquez, on his hands and knees in front of the house, bleeding profusely from his abdominal area. Officer Seunath learned that Vasquez had been stabbed by his roommate, later identified as defendant. Vasquez was taken to Jersey Shore Medical Center where he underwent immediate surgery for life-threatening injuries. Vasquez’s treating surgeon testified at trial that the surgery was immediately necessary to save Vasquez’s life.

Back at the scene, officers canvassed the area for suspects and collected evidence. Detectives from the Prosecutor’s Office and the Lakewood Township Police Department learned that earlier that evening, Vasquez’s roommate was upstairs in their shared bedroom with a friend drinking alcohol. When Vasquez entered the room to change out of his work clothes, his roommate asked him for $50. When Vasquez refused, his roommate came back with a large kitchen knife and stabbed him. Detective Stephen Capoano from the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department’s Crime Scene Unit recovered the knife which was missing its handle and still covered in blood.

About two (2) and one-half hours after the stabbing, officers observed a shirtless Hispanic male on the front steps of the residence. He was covered in fresh wounds consistent with hiding in a dark wooded area — like the one located behind the residence. The male was interviewed by Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Lieutenant Carlos Trujillo-Tovar and Lakewood Detective Craig Fink. During the interview, the detectives learned that defendant was Vasquez’s roommate, but defendant denied responsibility for the stabbing.

In addressing the Court, Assistant Prosecutor Jamie L. Schron argued that defendant should be sentenced to the maximum term of incarceration allowed by law, 20 years, because of the nature and circumstances of his crimes. “Defendant did everything he could to bring about the victim’s death,” Schron stated. “Defendant should not be rewarded for the surgery that saved the victim’s life or the victim’s will to live.” Schron also argued that there was a risk defendant would reoffend and the need to deter this defendant and others from committing crimes. Schron stated, “Defendant should not be pitied, he took advantage of the victim, he took his money, and ultimately tried to take his life.”

Judge Roe agreed and found that the aggravating factors substantially outweighed the single mitigating factor when she imposed the 15 year term.

MARCO TULIO ALVAREZ LOPEZMARCO TULIO ALVAREZ LOPEZ

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