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Mr. Tumelty represented Helena Hendricks, who was charged with first degree murder in Atlantic County Superior Court. The defendant faced a number of additional charges, including armed robbery, conspiracy and possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose. At the conclusion of a jury trial that lasted three weeks, the defendant was found "not guilty" of all charges.

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Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Tests Public on Difference between Real Gun and Imitation Firearm

South Jersey Criminal AttorneysThe Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office recently challenged local residents to identify real handguns in an online test. The results of the Internet test, which was posted on the Facebook page on the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, indicated that many people have a difficult time distinguishing between actual firearms and imitations firearms.

Ocean County law enforcement decided to issue the challenge to residents in the wake of a rash of recent arrests for illegal handgun possession, illegal possession of imitation firearms, and other weapons offenses throughout the area.

Additionally, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office wanted the public to have a better understanding of just how tough it can be for police officers to make a quick determination about whether a suspect is brandishing a deadly weapon or an imitation gun. Over the past year, there have been a number of high-profile incidents across the United States involving police officers who shot, sometimes fatally, suspects because the officers believed the suspects were holding potentially deadly firearms. In some of these cases, it turned out that the weapon was merely a BB gun, a pellet gun, or some other type of imitation firearm.

The reality is that police officers in Ocean County and elsewhere in New Jersey have difficult jobs – and those jobs are made more difficult when they have to make a split-second decision about whether to shoot a suspect who is holding what appears to be a handgun. Many times, it is dark outside and the suspect doesn’t immediately respond to police requests to put their hands up and get on the ground. The end result can be a deadly shooting.

The recent test posted on the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Facebook page highlights just how difficult things can be for police officers. An online poll shows a lineup of eight guns and asks respondents to select the actual firearm. Thus far, barely more than half of all respondents have been able to correctly identify the real handgun.

For additional information, read the article, “N.J. Prosecutor Poses “Which Gun Is Real” Challenge – Would You Pass?”


If you or a loved one has been charged with illegal possession of a firearm, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, or any other weapons offense in New Jersey, the penalties could be severe. That’s why it is imperative that you contact a qualified criminal defense attorney immediately. The skilled criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of John W. Tumelty are prepared to defend you against your gun crime charges. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation about your case.

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