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Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on August 13, 2021, Miguel Angel-Villegas, 31, of New Haven, Connecticut, pled guilty to Attempted Murder in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-1 and N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(1), as well as Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:29-3b(4), before the Honorable Guy P. Ryan, J.S.C., relative to a shooting incident that occurred in Tuckerton on November 21, 2019.  At the time of his sentencing on September 27, 2021, the State will recommend a term of fifteen years New Jersey State Prison (NJSP) as to the Attempted Murder charge, subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2, and five years NJSP as to the Hindering charge.  The sentences are to run concurrently.

On November 21, 2019, a Tuckerton Borough Police Officer performed a lawful stop on a motor vehicle in which Angel-Villegas was a passenger.  During the course of the stop, the vehicle pulled away at a very high rate of speed and collided with another vehicle.  Angel-Villegas exited the vehicle, pulled out a firearm and began firing at the Officer.  Angel-Villegas subsequently fled on foot and was apprehended later the same evening by the United States Marshals Service and members of the New York City Police Department – just outside of Penn Station, New York City.  A subsequent investigation by Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit revealed that Angel-Villegas ordered his then-girlfriend – the driver of the vehicle – to provide the Tuckerton Police Officer with a fictitious name due to his belief that he was wanted on a parole violation out of the State of Connecticut, and then forced her to speed away from the Officer during the motor vehicle stop.  

Villegas has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since his return to New Jersey.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Chief Trial Attorney Michael Weatherstone and Assistant Prosecutor Victoria Veni who handled the case on behalf of the State, as well as the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, United States Marshals Service, New York City Police Department, Tuckerton Borough Police Department, Little Egg Harbor Police Department, New Jersey State Police, New Jersey State Police Regional Operations Intelligence Center, New Jersey State Police Aviation Unit, New Jersey Transit Police, Ocean County Regional SWAT Team, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, New Haven (Connecticut) Police, Port Authority Police, Tuckerton Fire Department, and Tuckerton Public Works Department, for their collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation, ultimately resulting in Villegas’ apprehension, guilty plea, and soon his state prison sentence.