SENTENCING IN LAKEWOOD LAWN SWASTIKA CARVING
Scott F. Cooney, 46, of Lakewood, NJ, was sentenced today by Judge James M. Blaney, J.S.C. to the 15 months in New Jersey State Prison requested by Ocean County Assistant Prosecutor Heidi Tannenbaum-Newman for Bias Intimidation in the 4th degree. The defense had requested a term of 12 months.
Judge Blaney stated that one of the main reasons for his sentencing decision was the fact that while the defendant was in jail awaiting sentence, he wrote threatening and bias letters to the victims and the arresting police detective, Sgt. Leroy Marshall of Lakewood PD. Judge Blaney stated that Cooney’s conduct shows he intentionally defied the court’s order to have no contact with the victims. He continued by saying that Cooney’s incarceration has not deterred him from continuing to harass and threaten the victims. Therefore, Judge Blaney believed the 15 month custodial term was clearly appropriate. The judge directed that the defendant have no contact with the victims and that he will request the State Department of Corrections follow any procedures that would allow them to review his outgoing mail.
The sentencing stems from Cooney’s June 22, 2015 guilty plea and August 13, 2014 arrest. On August 10, 2014, the victims reported that they had been victimized by Cooney for several months. They alleged that Cooney had on many occasions verbally harassed and threatened them. They alleged further that at approximately 1:30 pm on the 10th they observed Cooney in their front yard using what appeared to be a lead pipe to carve something into their lawn. The victims, not wanting to provoke a confrontation, stayed safely within their home. Once Cooney departed, they went outside to find that he had carved a swastika into the lawn. The victims took a photo and immediately responded to the Lakewood Police Department.
Lakewood Police Sgt. Leroy Marshall conducted the investigation that subsequently led to Cooney’s arrest. Just after 11am on August 13, 2014, Sgt. Marshall and Lakewood Police Sgt. Greg Staffordsmith located Cooney at his residence on East Dorchester Drive in Leisure Village and executed the arrest warrant. At the time of his arrest, Judge Francis R. Hodgson, Jr, J.S.C. set bail at $25,000. Cooney initially posted bail, however, it was revoked for violating the No Contact Order. Cooney has remained incarcerated since his bail revocation on June 5, 2015.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Heidi Tannenbaum-Newman.
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