The Tuckerton man involved in a Love Triangle who shot another man in the midsection because he thought that man was sleeping with his estranged wife, has now pleaded guilty to Aggravated Assault.

In addition, Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer also announced that Donald Rutter, 53, of Tuckerton, pled guilty to Stalking and at the time of his sentencing on July 25, 2022, the State will be seeking a term of seven years in New Jersey State Prison on the Aggravated Assault charge and 18-months for the Stalking charge with both being served concurrently.

Prosecutor Billhimer said that the State will also be seeking a Stalking Restraining Order at the time of sentencing.

The incident itself took place on the evening of January 5, 2021, and Little Egg Harbor Police were called to Jarvis Marine on Radio Road around 7:30 pm on a report that a man had been shot.

Upon arrival at the scene, officers found 55-year-old Thomas Jarvis of Little Egg Harbor suffering from a gunshot wound to the midsection, and he was quickly brought to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, where he was treated for his injuries and later released from care.

The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit learned that Rutter was the man who shot Jarvis, but he was on the run, and the search was on.

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The OCPO-MCU along with the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Little Egg Harbor Police, 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 all teamed up looking for Rutter right after the shooting but couldn't find him, so a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Then a couple of weeks later, on January 28, Rutter was found sleeping under a boardwalk near Tennessee Avenue in Atlantic City and was arrested without incident by the United States Marshals Service and has been in the Ocean County Jail ever since.

Rutter was indicted in August of 2021 where he was charged with Attempted Murder.

He had blamed Jarvis for breaking up his 18-year marriage to his wife while his wife said that they were seperated because of Rutter's drinking habits, according to an affidavit filed in Ocean County Superior Court in 2021 by investigators.

Prosecutor Billhimer also announced that Ocean County Senior Assistant Prosecutor Meghan O’Neill and Ocean County Assistant Prosecutor Kaitlyn Burke are handling the case on behalf of the State.

Previous reporting by Dan Alexander was used in this news article.

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