⚖️ Family friend sentenced to life in prison for causing the death of woman in Ocean Township

⚖️ The former handyman allegedly tried to steal from his housemate before killing her and setting Ocean Township home on fire

⚖️ Fire led to body of Jacqueline Terrulli not being found for nearly a year at Ocean Township home


A man has been sentenced to life in prison after being accused of killing a family friend who was letting him stay at her Ocean Township home which he then set on fire, according to Monmouth County First Assistant Prosecutor Julia Alonso.

Ronald Teschner, of Ocean Township, has been charged with the murder of his housemate Jacqueline Terrulli. (Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office)
Ronald Teschner, of Ocean Township, has been charged with the murder of his housemate Jacqueline Terrulli. (Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office)
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What happened in the murder of Jacqueline Terrulli in her Ocean Township home

Ronald J. Teschner, 53, had been welcomed into the Wickapecko Drive home by Jacqueline C. Terrulli, 65, in 2019 but then on the morning of September 12 he used nail polish remover to help set the home ablaze, investigators learned.

The handyman by trade was caught stealing earlier inside the home by Terrulli and he then killed her and then took off stealing her white Jeep Cherokee in the process.

Teschner had a criminal past prior to the stealing, arson, and charges related to the killing of Terrulli surfaced as he had been charged with robbery, assault, and burglary.

Suspect from death of Jacqueline Terrulli of Ocean Township found in Paterson

After he fled in Terrulli's Jeep, he was found on a residential street up in Paterson by Ocean Township Police a day later and Teschner happened to be in the vehicle at the time.

He was found with two shotguns, fentanyl, as well as jewelry and other items that were Terrulli's from her home.

Teschner was arrested and later charged with several offenses and then in February of 2020, a Monmouth County Grand Jury returned a 16-count indictment against him.

Sentencing of Ronald Teschner
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In October of 2022, Teschner was convicted of first-degree Murder, first-degree Felony Murder, first-degree Robbery, three first-degree weapons offenses, second-degree Aggravated Arson, second-degree Desecration of Human Remains, third-degree Aggravated Assault, third-degree Burglary, third-degree Robbery, three counts of third-degree Theft, a third-degree drug offense, and fourth-degree Resisting Arrest.

What happened to the body of Jacqueline Terrulli of Ocean Township after fire

After the fire was put out at the home in Ocean Township, Teschner and Terrulli couldn't be found.

An investigation began among the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office Major Crimes Bureau and Forensic Bureau, Monmouth County Fire Marshal's Office, and Ocean Township Police which led to finding both of them.

Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office (Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office)
Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office (Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office)
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It was nearly a year later, in June of 2020, that Terrulli was found wrapped in plastic and buried several feet underground as crews began demolition and site remediation work on the property, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office.

The fire led to charred rubble which fell on and covered up where Terrulli was ultimately found on the property, investigators said.

Sentencing handed down in court stemming from Ocean Township fire and death

Teschner has been sentenced to life in prison following a nearly year long trial in court.

“Yesterday’s sentencing was commensurate with the abhorrent nature of these crimes,” First Assistant Prosecutor Alonso added. “We again extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Jacqueline Terrulli, with the hope that the conclusion of the criminal case brings them some degree of satisfaction in knowing that justice has been served on her behalf.”

Court room at the Monmouth County Correctional Institute. (Vin Ebenau, Townsquare Media New Jersey)
Court room at the Monmouth County Correctional Institute. (Vin Ebenau, Townsquare Media New Jersey)
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The Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office said that Teschner was represented at trial by Anthony Aldorasi, Esq. and Lisa Maglone, Esq.

Previous reporting by Dan Alexander was used in this article.

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