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

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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.

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Substitute Pemberton Twp. High School Aide Charged With Inappropriate Contact With Student

Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Pemberton Township Police Chief David H. Jantas announced that a substitute aide at Pemberton Township High School has been charged with having inappropriate contact with a male student as well as using social media to engage in sexually explicit conversations and send him nude photos of herself.

Casey L. Bartholomew, 22, of the Browns Mills section of Pemberton Township, was charged yesterday evening with Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Second Degree), Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact (Third Degree), and Showing Obscenity to a Minor (Third Degree).

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She was taken into custody at the Prosecutor’s Office and lodged in the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly.

She will have a first appearance today in Superior Court.

The investigation revealed that the contact occurred earlier this week at the high school.

The case will be prepared for presentation to a Burlington County Grand Jury by Assistant Prosecutor Stephen Eife, supervisor the BCPO Major Crimes Unit, Special Victims Section.

The investigation is being conducted by the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office and the Pemberton Township Police Department. BCPO Detective Mike Reagan and Pemberton Township Detective Joshua Danka are the lead investigators.

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

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(Post updated on November 3, 2018 at 8:45 p.m.)

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Wilmington, N.C. Man Charged in Bordentown Twp. Stabbing

Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Bordentown Township Police Chief Brian Pesce have announced details regarding a stabbing of a 41-year-old male that occurred in Bordentown Township, New Jersey.

Bordentown Township Police responded to a report of a stabbing at the Petro Truck Stop located at 402 Rising Sun Rd. at 9:15 a.m. Friday morning, October 12, 2018.

When police arrived on location they found the victim, Paul Stephens Jr., age 41, of Decatur, GA, had entered the Truck Stop’s Fuel Island store and collapsed as a result of his injuries.

First responders tended to the victim and he was then transported by ambulance to Capital Health Regional Medical Center, Trauma Unit, in Trenton. The victim suffered multiple stab wounds to the stomach and chest and underwent emergency surgery. He is currently listed in critical condition at that facility.

At this time, the investigation has revealed that a co-worker of the victim committed the stabbing following an argument between both subjects that occurred at the Truck Stop.

The suspect is identified as Christopher Teeter, age 41, of Wilmington, NC. Teeter has been charged with criminal attempt homicide, aggravated assault, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and unlawful possession of a weapon and committed to the Burlington County Jail. Teeter will face a detention hearing in the near future in Superior Court in Mount Holly.

The Bordentown Township Police Department and the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit are conducting the investigation of the stabbing.

Anyone with information that may assist authorities with the investigation is asked to call the Bordentown Township Police at 609-298-4300 or Burlington County Central Communications at 609-265-7113. Information may also be left anonymously by calling the Prosecutor’s Secret Witness Hotline at 609-267-7667.

(All persons charged with crimes are presumed innocent until proven otherwise in a court of law.)

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Medford Twp. Pastor Harry Thomas, 75, Sentenced to 18 Years for Sexual Assault of Minors

Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced that a Medford Township pastor was sentenced on July 27, 2018 to 18 years in New Jersey state prison for sexually assaulting four juveniles and having inappropriate interaction with a fifth one over a multi-year period ending in 2015.

The sentence handed down by the Hon. Jeanne T. Covert, P.J.Cr., contained no parole eligibility for the defendant, Harry L. Thomas, 75, of Queens Lane. He will serve his term at the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Woodbridge, which houses sexual offenders.

Harry L. Thomas
(Photo provided)

Thomas attempted to withdraw his guilty plea, but the motion was denied by Judge Covert.

“What we saw in court today was the unmasking of a true Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde,” Prosecutor Coffina said. “An individual who professed to take responsibility for his actions moved –unsuccessfully – to withdraw his guilty plea. An individual who professed to be a man of faith and who has made many positive contributions to strangers committed the ultimate act of betrayal against family members who loved and trusted him. There is no sentence that can approximate justice in light of this defendant’s despicable acts against these children, but it is gratifying that the
victims have been spared the pain of a trial and the defendant almost certainly will spend the rest of his life in prison, where he never can harm a child again.”

Thomas was arrested in December 2017 and pled guilty in February to one count of Aggravated Sexual Assault (First Degree), three counts of Sexual Assault (second degree) and one count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child (second degree).

He was the pastor of Come Alive Church in Medford Township at the time of his arrest. The investigation revealed that the assaults occurred in Medford Township between 1999 and 2015.

“I want to commend Assistant Prosecutor Stephen Eife, Medford Township Detective William Knecht, BCPO Detective Jack Bowker, and BCPO victim advocate Nichole Borger for their diligence and sensitivity in prosecuting this case, and to wish the survivors and their families the strength to overcome the challenges they face in coming to terms with these crimes and moving forward with their lives,” Prosecutor Coffina said.

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Camden Man Charged with Sexual Assault of Young Girl in Maple Shade

Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Maple Shade Police Chief Gary Gubbei announced on June 26, 2018 that a 21-year-old Camden man has been charged with manufacturing child pornography and sexually assaulting a young girl in Maple Shade earlier this year.

Jermaine J. Ward used his cell phone to make a video recording of the assault. He was charged with two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child (First Degree, Third Degree) and Sexual Assault (Second Degree). He faces a detention hearing later this week in Superior Court in Mount Holly.

He was taken into custody Sunday morning in Camden.

Ward is acquainted with the victim and her family. Additional information on the victim is being withheld in an effort to protect her identity.

Jermaine J. Ward
Image courtesy: BCPO

At the time of his arrest, Ward was employed by the YMCA of Burlington and Camden Counties, and worked in two area schools through the organization’s Prime Time before-school and after-school programs. Since being hired by the YMCA in September 2017, Ward has spent time working with students at Beverly City School on Bentley Avenue in Beverly and Carson Elementary School on Garfield Avenue in Pennsauken.

“The investigation revealed that Ward may have had inappropriate contact or interaction with students under his care,” Prosecutor Coffina said. “I urge anyone who suspects this defendant of having engaged in inappropriate behavior with a child to contact law enforcement and provide the details of the incident.”

In Burlington County, call Burlington County Central Communications at 609-265-7113.

In Camden County, call Camden County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit Detective Jenna Bindig at 856-580-5782.

Ward is being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Stephen Eife, supervisor of the Special Victims Section of the BCPO Major Crimes Unit.

The case was investigated by detectives from the Maple Shade Police Department and the Prosecutor’s Office. The investigation was led by Maple Shade Detective Scott Supernowicz and BCPO Detective Mel Rodgers.

All persons charged with crimes are presumed innocent until proven otherwise in a court of law.