Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on August 5, 2022, Jorge Santiago-Garcia, 33, of Lakewood, was sentenced by the Honorable Rochelle Gizinski, J.S.C., to twenty-five years New Jersey State Prison as a result of his previously entered guilty plea to Aggravated Manslaughter in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4a(1), in connection with the stabbing death of Rodrigo Jimenez-Paz in Lakewood Township on August 31, 2020. This sentence will be subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2, meaning that Santiago-Garcia will be required to serve at least 85 percent of his prison sentence before he may be considered for parole eligibility. Santiago-Garcia pled guilty to the charge before Judge Gizinski on June 9, 2022.
On August 31, 2020, Officers from the Lakewood Township Police Department were summoned to a business on 2nd Ave in Lakewood in response to multiple 911 calls indicating that an individual had been stabbed at that location. Responding Officers found Rodrigo Jimenez-Paz, 29, of Lakewood, with a stab wound to his chest. Medical units transported Mr. Jimenez-Paz to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune; lifesaving efforts were unsuccessful, and he was subsequently pronounced deceased. An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, and Lakewood Police Department, identified Jorge Santiago-Garcia as the individual who stabbed Mr. Jimenez-Paz. Santiago-Garcia was taken into custody at the scene, and has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since his arrest.
Prosecutor Billhimer wishes to acknowledge the diligent efforts of Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Kristin Pressman, Senior Assistant Prosecutor Mara Brater, and Assistant Prosecutor Kaitlyn Burke who handled the case on behalf of the State, as well as the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Lakewood Township Police Department, Lakewood Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, and New Jersey State Police Office of Forensic Sciences, for their collective and collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation, leading to Santiago-Garcia’s arrest, guilty plea, and now his lengthy state prison sentence.