NJ court finds ‘Jealous lover’ is found guilty of strangling her girlfriend to death with a power cord and burying her in the backyard months after she arranged botched murder-for-hire
Jennifer Sweeney, 38, Friday was convicted of murder, conspiracy, desecration of human remains, evidence tampering and weapons charges
Tyrita Julius was last seen leaving for lunch with a friend on March 8, 2015, but never returned Sweeney, the friend she lunched with claimed she dropped off at a train station that evening
Her remains were found in a three-feet-deep grave eight months later
New Jersey prosecutors said Sweeney forced a friend to shoot her pal, 41-year-old Tyrita Julius, in 2015,
Julius however, survived, despite being shot 8times
Six months later, Sweeney strangled Julius with a power cord and together with Andre Harris buried her body in his backyard
Harris, 37, took a plea deal and testified against Sweeney, claiming that she suspected of Julius of cheating and said: ‘If I can’t have her, no one can’
Harris also accused Harris of threatening to kill him and his children if he refused to take part in murder-for-hire
Sweeney now faces up to life in prison without possibility of parole
A 38-year-old New Jersey woman accused of strangling her girlfriend with an electrical cord and burying her body in a shallow grave, has been found guilty of murder. The killing in March 2015, happened months after the hitman Jennifer Sweeney contracted, shot her friend Tyrita Julius multiple times, but failed to kill her.
The motive investigators said, was jealousy as the killer believed that her girlfriend Tyrita Julius was cheating on her.
A Monmouth County jury on Friday convicted Sweeney, from Tinton Falls, on charges of first-degree murder, first-degree conspiracy to commit murder, three related weapons offenses, second-degree desecration of human remains, and fourth-degree tampering with physical evidence in connection with the brutal killing of Tyrita Julius, 42.
‘The suffering endured by Tyrita Julius at the hands of someone who was supposed to care for her during the last several months of her life was unspeakable, and while today’s verdict can’t bring Tyrita back, we hope it offers some sense of solace and closure to her friends and family,’ Prosecutor Lori Linskey stated.
The twisted saga began unfolding on the evening of November 24, 2015, when officers from the Linden Police Department were called a home in the 900 block of Middlesex Street in Linden on a report of a shooting.
Responding officers found Julius who had been shot eight times, sitting in her car, which had crashed into a utility pole not far from her home, reported ABC 7 NY.
The victim’s 15-year-old daughter was in the front passenger seat also sustained a gunshot wound. Mother and daughter were hospitalized and eventually recovered from their injuries.
The investigation into the shooting was still in progress when on March 9, 2016, Julius’ mother reported her missing.
Investigators arrested 37-year-old Andre Harris who testified in court that Sweeney had given him a gun and ordered him to shoot Julius. He executed his contract in November 2015, injuring Julius and her daughter as they sat in a car.
After Julius vanished investigators learned that the night before Julius had been with a woman, described as a friend from Tinton Falls, but failed to return home.
That friend was later identified as Sweeney, whom Julius had met through a motorcycle club. Ironically, while Julius was recuperating from gunshot injuries inflicted on her orders, +Sweeney visited her in the hospital.
It was more than six months after Julius vanished that police discovered her body buried in a three-foot-deep hole in the backyard of Andre Harris’ home in Long Branch.
The victim had been strangled with an electrical cord and wrapped in two garbage bags, according to the authorities, as reported by Asbury Park Press.
In the course of a multi-agency investigation, detectives have zeroed in on Andre Harris as the gunman who shot Julius and her daughter in November 2015.
Sweeney and Harris were arrested in August 2016 and charged in connection with the murder and failed attempted murder of Tyrita Sweeney. Three months later a Monmouth County grand jury returned an indictment against each suspect.
Harris later reached a plea deal with prosecutors in exchange for a 16-year sentence in state prison and agreed to testify against Sweeney.
During Sweeney’s murder trial, Harris testified that the defendant was a ‘jealous lover’ who suspected Julius of cheating on her. He also called her ‘psychotic.’
He quoted Sweeney telling him; ‘If I can’t have her, no one can.’
Harris accused Sweeney, whom he knew from high school, of threatening his life and the lives of his children if he did not shoot Julius with the gun she had given him.
Six months after the failed assassination attempt, Harris said Sweeney drove up to his house in Long Branch with Julius dead in her Jeep Cherokee, and forced him at gunpoint to help her dispose of the woman’s body.
The defense attempted to paint the prosecution’s star witness as a ‘pathological liar,’ but the jurors were not swayed. Sweeney now faces up to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Her sentencing has been scheduled for November 19.