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Man gets life term for mistaken-identity murder of teacher

June 7, 2019

FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) — Another man convicted in a mistaken-identity home invasion that ended with a teacher being killed has been sentenced to life in prison.

Ebenezer Byrd was one of three men convicted in March of felony murder and numerous other counts in the 2009 death of Jonelle Melton. The 39-year-old Asbury Park man was sentenced Thursday.

Monmouth County prosecutors have said the men planned to rob a drug dealer but went to the wrong Neptune City apartment and attacked Melton when they realized their mistake. The 33-year-old Red Bank middle school social studies teacher was found beaten, shot and stabbed

The two other men convicted in the case, Jerry Spraulding and Gregory Jean-Baptiste, both received life sentences last month.

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