In The Courts Recent News

Daniel Waterfield, of Lawnside, Sentenced to 8-Year Prison Term For Dumping Body of Woman Who Fatally Overdosed in His Vehicle

Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced on September 14, 2020 that a 55-year-old Lawnside man was sentenced today to eight years in New Jersey state prison for dumping the body of a woman who had fatally overdosed in his vehicle on the side of a Southampton Township road in late 2018.

The sentence was handed down to Daniel Waterfield in Superior Court by the Hon. Gerard H. Breland, J.S.C. A jury found Waterfield guilty in March 2020 of Desecrating Human Remains (Second Degree). He has been detained in the Burlington County Jail since being convicted.

The investigation revealed that on Halloween night in 2018, Waterfield left the lifeless body of a Paulsboro woman on the berm of Purgatory Road near the intersection with Route 70 in Southampton Township.

Kerri Ann Stetser, 36, who had fatally overdosed hours earlier inside Waterfield’s pickup truck, was pronounced dead at the scene. She was not carrying identification and was later identified by her fingerprints.

Members of Kerri’s family spoke in court today, making sure Judge Breland realized that she was a person who was loved, and someone who would never treat anyone the way she was treated by Waterfield.

“This case is tragic for so many reasons, and the inhumane actions of this defendant made it even more heartbreaking for Kerri’s family,” Prosecutor Coffina said. “Instead of reporting Kerri’s death, he pulled her from his truck and discarded her on the side of the road. Nobody deserves such heartless treatment, and maybe he will come to that realization during his time in prison.”

Charges remain against a co-conspirator who Waterfield contacted for help disposing of Stetser’s body. Amanda Seth, 36, of Camden, is presently a fugitive.

The case was investigated by New Jersey State Police detectives from the Troop “C” Criminal Investigation Office, Crime Scene Investigation Unit, and Homicide South Unit.

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.

News Police & Fire Recent News

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.)

Feature Stories News Recent News

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.