PLEASANTVILLE MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO AGGRAVATED MANSLAUGHTER, DESECRATION OF HUMAN REMAINS


MAYS LANDING- A Pleasantville man pleaded guilty today in connection with the death of a woman whose remains were found by a hunter in a wooded area of Egg Harbor Township in January of 2014, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner announced.

Steven Stallworth

This morning Steven R. Stallworth, 31, pleaded guilty before Judge Rauh to Aggravated Manslaughter and second degree Desecration of Human Remains with a sentence recommendation of 28 years in a New Jersey state prison subject to the No Early Release Act (NERA), which mandates that the defendant must serve 85% of the sentence.

The guilty plea is for the death of Tara Rogers Alicea, 30, of Monroeville, NJ, between July 31, 2013 and December 1, 2013.

On Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, at approximately 1:30 p.m., a hunter found human remains in the woods behind the Shore Mall site near Broadway Avenue in Egg Harbor Township. The hunter contacted a municipal police officer in Atlantic County, and law enforcement responded to the scene.

The remains—recovered in an advanced stage of decomposition—were collected by the New Jersey State Medical Examiner’s Office.

The victim, Tara Rogers Alicea, was identified from photographs of tattoos that were released to the public within days of her body’s recovery. Detectives subsequently confirmed the identification through fingerprint analysis.

The State Medical Examiner’s Office, in consultation with a State Medical Anthropologist, determined the cause of death to be asphyxiation by strangulation, and ruled her death a homicide.

A joint investigation by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, the Egg Harbor Township Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), with the assistance of the Pleasantville Police Department, culminated in the arrest of Stallworth on August 5, 2014. Detectives arrested Stallworth without incident in Mays Landing at approximately 9:40 a.m.

First Assistant Prosecutor Cary Shill and Assistant Prosecutor Bryna Batten represent the State in the matter.

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Anyone with information involving serious crimes is asked to call the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-909-7800 or go to the Prosecutor’s Office Web site at http://www.acpo.org/tips.html and provide information by filling out the form anonymously on the Submit a Tip page. People can also call Crime Stoppers at 609-652-1234 or 1-800-658-8477 (TIPS) or visit the Crime Stoppers Website at http://www.crimestoppersatlantic.com/. Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards for information leading to the arrest and indictment of those who commit crimes in Atlantic County.

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