4th man charged in mistaken-identity slaying of teacher

AP News
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Posted: Jan 16, 2016 12:09 PM

FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) — A fourth man has been charged in the 2009 beating death of a New Jersey middle school teacher who authorities say was killed when robbers mistakenly targeted her apartment.

Monmouth County prosecutors say 38-year-old Jerry Spraulding, of Keansburg, faces felony murder and other charges.

Three other men are already charged in the death of Jonelle Melton, whose body was found in September 2009 inside her Neptune City apartment. The 33-year-old taught at a middle school in Red Bank.

Authorities say the men planned on robbing a different apartment in Melton's complex but killed her after realizing they'd entered the wrong one.

Spraulding is currently serving an 8-year prison sentence in an unrelated drug distribution case. It wasn't known Saturday if he had retained an attorney.