Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on June 19, 2023, Jehmar Barrett, 36, of Lacey Township, pled guilty to Manslaughter before the Honorable Kimarie Rahill, J.S.C., in connection with the death of a 35-year-old female in Toms River on November 24, 2020. At the time of his sentencing on August 18, 2023, the State will be seeking a term of seven years New Jersey State Prison – subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act.
On November 24, 2020, Toms River Township Police Officers responded to a residence on Alabama Avenue for a report of an unresponsive female. Upon arrival, Officers discovered the body of the victim, who was already deceased from an apparent drug overdose.
A subsequent investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit and Toms River Police Department Detective Bureau determined that Barrett distributed heroin and cocaine to the victim on November 23, 2020.
Further investigation and toxicology analysis received by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office confirmed the presence of fentanyl in the victim’s system. It was determined through laboratory analysis that the controlled dangerous substance distributed to the victim by Barrett – initially believed to be heroin – was, in fact, fentanyl, matching the fentanyl found in the victim’s system. Based upon the toxicology analysis, the Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office opined that the fentanyl found in the victim’s system was the cause of her death. On April 29, 2021, Barrett was charged in connection with the victim’s death.
On April 30, 2021, Barrett surrendered himself to Toms River Township Police Department Headquarters. He was transported to the Ocean County Jail, and subsequently released as a consequence of New Jersey Bail Reform.
Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Assistant Prosecutor Stephen Burke who is handling the case on behalf of the State, and commends the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit, Toms River Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Toms River Township Police Department Special Enforcement Team, Toms River Township Police Department Patrol Division, Berkeley Township Police Department, Lacey Township Police Department, Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, for their collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation leading to Barrett’s guilty plea, and soon his state prison sentence.