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MC Prosecutor's Office

FREEHOLD – A Howell woman has been apprehended after being charged with four counts of animal cruelty in June 2020, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

Tricia Jaccoma, 24, was apprehended on September 4, 2020 after being a fugitive for nearly three months. Jaccoma, along with Daniel McDonald, 25, were charged back in June with four counts of third degree animal cruelty with respect to the deaths of four German Shepherd puppies found deceased on a property in Howell where they were temporarily residing.

In addition to the animal cruelty charges for failing to provide the puppies with the necessary care, both McDonald and Jaccoma were additionally charged with multiple counts of third degree Receiving Stolen Property, for being in possession of the stolen puppies from a farm in Somerset County.

The remains of two deceased German Shepherd puppies were found in a fire pit on the property in Howell on Monday, May 18, 2020.  The Howell Township Police Department and Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Law Enforcement Division, conducted an investigation, which led to the discovery of the remains of two more deceased puppies which had been buried on the property.

The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office would like to thank the U.S. Marshalls NJ/NY Regional Fugitive Task Force for their efforts in finding and apprehending Jaccoma.

Jaccoma will have her First Appearance on Sunday, September 6, 2020.

McDonald’s charges remain pending and he has been detained at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Paul X. Escandon since June 10, 2020.

This case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Melanie Falco, Director of the Office’s Professional Responsibility and Bias Crimes Unit, and liaison to the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Law Enforcement Division.

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

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