Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on October 21, 2020, Ciara Williams, 28, of Brick Township, was sentenced to four years New Jersey State Prison by the Honorable Rochelle Gizinski, J.S.C., as a result of a previously entered guilty plea to Reckless Manslaughter in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4, subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2. Williams pled guilty to the charge before Judge Gizinski on July 2, 2020.
On Sunday, September 29, 2019, Brick Township Police were summoned to Ocean Medical Center in Brick regarding a male victim with an apparent stab wound to his chest. Police were able to ascertain that the victim, Dennis Power, 35, also of Brick, was driven to the hospital by a female later determined to be his fiancé, Ciara Williams. Hospital staff responded to the vehicle and found Mr. Power unconscious but breathing. He was rushed inside the hospital where lifesaving measures were attempted; these efforts were unsuccessful, however, and Mr. Power succumbed to his injuries. A subsequent investigation determined that Williams fled the scene before police arrived. Further investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Brick Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit revealed that Williams stabbed Mr. Power in the chest, and was responsible for the injuries which ultimately led to his death.
“Williams originally faced more significant charges with greater sentencing exposure, but legitimate self-defense claims arose during the course of the investigation which we were compelled to take into account in evaluating this very difficult case,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated. “The claims of self-defense, coupled with considerable proof problems, led to a resolution which we believe to be fair and just after careful consideration of all the facts and circumstances. Williams has been made to answer for her crime, and will be required to spend the next few years in state prison as a result. We hope this prison sentence provides some level of peace and closure to the family of Mr. Power,” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.
Prosecutor Billhimer commends the diligence of Senior Assistant Prosecutors Kristin Pressman and Mara Brater who handled the case on behalf of the State. Prosecutor Billhimer likewise extends his gratitude to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit, Brick Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, whose collective efforts relative to this investigation culminated today with this state prison sentence.