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AHH 24-Hr. News

IMAGE Middletown Police Report - July 24, 2014
Thursday, 24 July 2014
Middletown, NJ - The following police report is provided by the Middletown Police Department.  All subjects are presumed innocent until proven... Read More...
Complaint Filed Against Moving Company That Allegedly Low-Balled Consumers and Threatened to Withhold Possessions
Thursday, 24 July 2014
NEWARK, NJ – Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman and the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs today announced the filing of a complaint... Read More...
Keeping Kids Healthy this Summer
Thursday, 24 July 2014
The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association want kids to stay heart-healthy this summer. Robbinsville, NJ, July 24, 2014—School... Read More...
IMAGE Long Branch Native a ‘Rising Star’ on ABC Singing Competition Show
Thursday, 24 July 2014
Long Branch, N.J.  –  24-year-old Audrey Kate Geiger is preparing for her second performance on “Rising Star,” ABC’s newest hit... Read More...
Globe Awards New Turnout Gear to Highlands Fire Department as Part of 2014 Giveaway Program
Wednesday, 23 July 2014
HIGHLANDS, NJ - Globe, in partnership with DuPont Protection Technologies (DuPont) and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) has made the... Read More...

Columns

IMAGE Spectator’s Observations
by George Hancock-Stefan
Thursday, 24 July 2014
During the World Cup, I watched as many games as possible. I watched them here at home, I watched a couple of games in Turkey where they were... Read More...
IMAGE What Does the Fox Say?
by Anne Mikolay
Thursday, 24 July 2014
As a long-time Middletown resident and a nature lover, I have seen my share of backyard critters. We have mice, voles, squirrels, raccoons, skunks,... Read More...
IMAGE Skewed View - July 24, 2014
by Tom Brennan
Thursday, 24 July 2014
I created a page called "Fact Jack".  If you want, like it on Facebook http://bit.ly/FactJackFb or follow on... Read More...
IMAGE Christie Should Help Fellow Republicans
by Jack Archibald
Thursday, 24 July 2014
Governor Chris Christie  revealed quite a bit about his political ambition and philosophy this past week.  In case you haven’t been... Read More...
IMAGE Review - Tammy
by David Prown
Sunday, 20 July 2014
It's amazing to me how lame the movie selection was this week. I'm not even sure if there was anything new out...amazing. Have you noticed how I'm... Read More...

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FREEHOLD, NJ - Michelle A. Heale, 44, of Toms River, was charged today with the murder of a 14-month old child, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced. Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Thomas F. Scully, P.J. Cr. set Heale's bail at $250,000 with no 10% option.

The charge against Heale stems from an incident that occurred on August 28. On that date, Heale was babysitting 14-month old Mason Hess at Heale's house in Toms River. Heale was a regular babysitter for the Hess family and had watched Mason a few times a week for several months predating the incident. At approximately 2:03 p.m., the Toms River Police Department responded to the Heale home after Heale reported that the child was having difficulty breathing. The Toms River Police Department and the Toms River Township EMS responded and found the child unconscious and not breathing. Mason was immediately transported to a local emergency room in Toms River.

Shortly after Mason's arrival, doctors determined that the child's health was rapidly deteriorating and he was immediately transported by helicopter to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia ("CHOP"). Subsequent examination by CHOP physicians revealed that Mason sustained physical abuse and that his condition was grave. On August 31, CHOP physicians concluded that Mason was the victim of violent shaking that caused severe brain, spine and retinal damage. Mason Hess succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead on September 1 at approximately 2:30 p.m. A subsequent autopsy performed by the Philadelphia Medical Examiner's Office rendered Mason's cause of death to be blunt cerebral trauma and the manner of death to be homicide.

An investigation into Mason's death was commenced by the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office on August 29. This Office is handling the case because both the father of the victim and the husband of the defendant are employed by the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office.

As a result, the Ocean County Prosecutor referred the investigation to the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General in accordance with standard procedure. The Attorney General's Office assumed jurisdiction over the case and then assigned it to the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office for further investigation.

Murder is a crime of the first degree and carries a maximum sentence of lifetime in prison, and a minimum of 30 years in jail with a 30-year period of parole ineligibility . This charge is also subject to the "No Early Release Act" (N.E.R.A.), which means that, if convicted, Heale would not be paroled until she served 85% of the sentence imposed, if given more than the minimum 30-year sentence.

Despite this charge, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial in which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.

The case is being prosecuted by Director of Investigations Marc C. LeMieux. Heale is represented by Karl Mohel, Esq., of Toms River.