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Atlantic/Cape May Vicinage Employees Organize Face Mask Drive for Co-workers

In a show of support for their colleagues on the frontline during the COVID-19 pandemic, employees in the New Jersey Judiciary’s Atlantic/Cape May Vicinage sewed more than 250 face masks within a matter of days before distributing them on Monday, April 20.

Karen Michael, an administrative specialist in the court user resource center, had been sewing masks for frontline workers at a local hospital when she proposed the idea of a vicinage-wide face mask drive for Judiciary employees who continue to interact directly with members of the public.

Judges, staff, and their friends and family volunteered materials and their sewing skills to produce washable cloth masks for probation officers supervising clients in the community and employees reporting to the courthouses to facilitate case processing.

Probation Officer Andrew Harrigan and his son Logan volunteered to make face masks for the Atlantic/Cape May Vicinage employees working on the frontline during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Image credit: New Jersey Judiciary)

“The creative, altruistic idea of one person has resulted in good will and safety for many,” said Trial Court Administrator Howard Berchtold Jr. “This mask-making drive, inspired by a desire to assist the Atlantic/Cape May Vicinage family, yielded more than 250 cloth masks to enable employees to continue to leave their homes to serve the public.”

The initiative began with a material donation drop-off at the three courthouses in Atlantic and Cape May counties. Michael put the call out for cloth, elastic, thread, large rubber bands, blue shop paper towels and zip-up plastic bags.

Image credit: New Jersey Judiciary

Within four days, she received enough material to cut out the 250 masks by hand and assembled the kits that were distributed to the 15 sewing volunteers. The kits also contained “Made by” cards, which contained personal messages from the sewing volunteers, to build a connection between the maker and the recipient.

Sharnett Clark, vicinage chief probation officer. said the masks will help the officers maintain contact with their clients while staying safe.

“As essential employees in probation, we are forever grateful for such acts of kindness,” Clark said.

In The Courts

Home Nurse Arrested for Sexually Assaulting Severely Impaired Patient

Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and New Jersey State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan announced that a 33-year-old man working as a caregiver in a Southampton home has been arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a severely developmentally impaired girl under his care.

Edmondo DiPaolo, of Daniels Avenue in Pemberton Township, was charged with Aggravated Sexual Assault (First Degree), Attempted Aggravated Assault (Second Degree) and Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Second Degree).

He was taken into custody on March 21 and lodged in the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly pending a detention hearing in Superior Court. The case will then be prepared for presentation to a grand jury for possible indictment.

The victim, 16, has a degenerative brain disorder and is wheelchair bound. She is unable to move or speak, and is fed and medicated through tubes. DiPaolo had been caring for her two days a week for the last seven months.

The investigation began after the victim’s family members discovered an injury to her leg. The investigation revealed that her femur bone had been broken while DiPaolo was adjusting her position prior to sexually assaulting her.

DiPaolo will be prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Stephen Eife, supervisor of the BCPO Major Crimes Unit – Special Victims Section. The case was investigated by the New Jersey State Police.

DiPaolo was employed as a private duty nurse by Preferred Home Health Care & Nursing Services, Inc.

Anyone who suspects DiPaolo may have mistreated another patient is urged to call NJSP Detective P. Ryba at the Red Lion Barracks at 609-859-2282.

All persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

In The Courts

Christopher Teeter, of Wilmington, N.C., Found Guilty of Attempted Murder in Bordentown Truck Stop Stabbing

Photo provided

Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced today that a truck driver from North Carolina has been convicted in Superior Court of attempted murder for stabbing a co-worker at a Bordentown Township truck stop late last year.

After deliberating for two and a half hours yesterday, a jury found Christopher Teeter, 42, of Wilmington, North Carolina, guilty of Attempted Murder (First Degree), Aggravated Assault (Second Degree), Aggravated Assault (Third Degree), Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (Third Degree), and Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Fourth Degree).

The Hon. Terrence R. Cook, J.S.C., scheduled sentencing for September 27.

The investigation revealed that Teeter and another driver who were traveling together were at the Petro Truck Stop on Rising Sun Road on the morning of October 12, 2018 when an argument ensued over the lack of cleanliness of their truck’s cabin.

Teeter pulled a knife and stabbed his co-worker, a 42-year-old Georgia resident. Officers arriving at the scene found the victim on the ground with stab wounds to his abdomen. Teeter was located at the truck stop and arrested without incident.

The victim survived after undergoing emergency surgery at Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton. Teeter has been detained in the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly since his arrest.

Teeter was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutors Jamie Hutchinson and Matthew Jaxheimer. The investigation was conducted by detectives from the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office and the Bordentown Township Police Department. The lead investigators were BCPO Detective Michael Reagan and Bordentown Township Detective Josh Pavlov.

In The Courts

Lawnside Drug Dealer Pleads Guilty to Strict Liability for a Drug-Induced Death

Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced that a Lawnside drug dealer pled guilty yesterday in Superior Court to causing the death of a Marlton customer to whom he sold heroin last year.

Under an agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office, Jimmy Flakes Jr., 41, of Lawnside, will serve seven years in New Jersey state prison in exchange for pleading guilty to Strict Liability for a Drug-Induced Death (First Degree).

The Hon. Gerard H. Breland, J.S.C., scheduled sentencing for January 11, 2019.

The investigation revealed that Jeffrey Potter, 45, from the Marlton section of Evesham Township, was discovered dead in his home on September 28, 2016 after using heroin that had been purchased from Flakes.

The investigation further revealed that Flakes made a profit of $10 on the sale of the heroin to the victim.

An autopsy performed by Burlington County Medical Examiner Dr. Ian Hood determined the cause of death was opiate toxicity.

The case against Flakes is being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Jeremy M. Lackey and Assistant Prosecutor Jamie Hutchinson. It was investigated by the Evesham Township Police Department, with assistance from the Lawnside Police Department in Camden County. The lead investigator was Evesham Township Police Detective Christopher A. DeFrancesco.