Long Branch strangler sentenced to life in prison
It'll be life in prison for a Long Branch man convicted of strangling 40-year old Jennifer Pizzuto to death in a second floor bedroom at his 140 Rockwell Avenue home December 13, 2015.
23-year old Christopher "Chato" Aparicio-Reyes who was convicted earlier this year must serve 63-years and 9-months before becoming eligible for release on parole.
He was given a Life sentence, subject to the provisions of the "No Early Release Act" (NERA) requiring him to serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed.
Reyes will also be under parole supervision for five years following his release from state prison.
At the trial in February, details of the case unfolded.
Reyes brutally beat Pizzuto in the head and face before killing her, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutors Office.
Pizzuto was found missing three teeth and had several cuts to her face and head on the day of the murder.
A forensics expert determined that Aparicio-Reyes inflicted these injuries through repeated blows, both while Pizzuto was standing and again after she had fallen to the floor.
An autopsy discovered that Aparicio-Reyes killed Pizzuto by squeezing her neck until she lost consciousness and eventually died with his arms still wrapped around her neck.
Aparicio-Reyes told the courtroom he killed Pizzuto, but not on purpose, and tried justifying his actions by claiming Pizzuto had stolen from him and that he was drinking and using cocaine on the night of the murder.
He tried to hide her body in another room, and then left the house and hid at a friend's apartment until officers from the Long Branch Police Department and Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office found him the next morning.
The jury convicted Aparicio-Reyes during the first day of deliberations, finding he knowingly or purposely killed Pizzuto and was guilty of Murder.
The case was prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutors Christopher Matthews and Joseph Competello.
Aparicio-Reyes is represented by Michael Wicke and Joshua Hood, of Freehold.
More From The Jersey Shore: