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Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on July 8, 2024, Mary Carbone, 60, of Toms River, pled guilty to Aggravated Manslaughter before the Honorable Guy P. Ryan, P.J.Cr.P., in connection with the death of Frank Stochel, 55, of Toms River, in Manchester Township on February 24, 2020.  At the time of her sentencing on September 13, 2024, the State will be seeking a term of 10 years New Jersey State Prison, subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act.


On February 24, 2020, Officers from the Manchester Township Police Department responded to a residence on 6th Avenue in the Pine Lake Park section of Manchester for a report of an unresponsive male.  Upon arrival, Officers found the lifeless body of Mr. Stochel lying on the floor of the residence.  On February 25, 2020, the Ocean County Medical Examiner performed a post-mortem examination of Mr. Stochel’s body.  The Medical Examiner ruled the manner of death to be a homicide.


An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Manchester Township Police Detective Bureau, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, revealed that Carbone and Stochel both resided at the 6th Avenue residence in Manchester.  The investigation further revealed that several household items were utilized in the commission of the homicide:  specifically, a wooden board, a heavy duty tape dispenser, and a shower curtain rod were recovered from the scene.  The injuries sustained by Mr. Stochel were consistent with the implementation of these items.  Continuing investigation ultimately identified Carbone as the individual responsible for Mr. Stochel’s death.  Carbone was arrested and charged on March 4, 2021, and has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since that date.


“Although Mary Carbone was originally facing a murder charge in connection with Mr. Stochel’s death, legitimate proof issues arose during the course of our investigation that we simply could not ignore, and which we were ethically bound to take into account in evaluating this very difficult case,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated.  “We believe this to be a just and reasonable resolution after careful consideration of all the facts and circumstances.  Additionally, Mr. Stochel’s family was consulted in connection with this resolution, and approved of same,” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.


Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Meghan O’Neill and Assistant Prosecutor Victoria Veni who are handling 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 Crimes Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit, Manchester Township Police Department, Manchester Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Toms River Township Police Department, and Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office, for their collective and cooperative assistance in connection with this investigation resulting in Carbone’s guilty plea, and soon her state prison sentence.