Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on July 25, 2022, Donald Rutter, 53, of Tuckerton, was sentenced by the Honorable Wendel E. Daniels, J.S.C. (retired and temporarily assigned on recall), to five years New Jersey State Prison (NJSP), as a result of his previously entered guilty plea to Aggravated Assault in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(1), in connection with an incident that occurred during the evening hours of January 5, 2021 in Little Egg Harbor Township. This sentence will be subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2, meaning that Rutter will be required to serve at least 85 percent of his prison sentence before he may be considered for parole eligibility. Judge Daniels also sentenced Rutter to 18 months NJSP as a result of his guilty plea to Stalking in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10b, in connection with the same incident. The sentences will run concurrently. Additionally, Judge Daniels executed a Permanent Stalking Restraining Order barring Rutter from having any contact with the victim, Thomas Jarvis, 55, of Little Egg Harbor. Rutter pled guilty to both charges before Judge Daniels on June 13, 2022.
On January 5, 2021, at approximately 7:30 p.m., Little Egg Harbor Township Police were dispatched to Jarvis Marine on Radio Road in response to a 911 call which related that an individual had been shot. Responding Officers found Mr. Jarvis with an apparent gunshot wound to his midsection. Mr. Jarvis was transported to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center. He was treated for his injuries and eventually released from the hospital.
An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit revealed that Rutter was, in fact, the individual who shot Mr. Jarvis. An exhaustive search of the surrounding area by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Regional SWAT Team, New Jersey State Police, New Jersey State Park Police, United States Marshals Service, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, and Tuckerton Police Department, was unsuccessful in locating Rutter in the aftermath of the shooting. As such, a warrant was issued for Rutter’s arrest.
On January 28, 2021, Rutter was ultimately located in Atlantic City and taken into custody, without incident, by the United States Marshals Service. He has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since his apprehension.
Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Senior Assistant Prosecutor Meghan O’Neill 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, Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Regional SWAT Team, New Jersey State Police, New Jersey State Park Police, United States Marshals Service, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, and Tuckerton Police Department, for their combined and collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation resulting in Rutter’s apprehension, guilty pleas, and now his state prison sentence.