Sunday, August 31, 2014

Two Atlantic County Men Sentenced in the 2010 Murder of Egg Harbor City Mother

MAYS LANDING – Two Atlantic County men were sentenced today for their roles in the 2010 murder of an Egg Harbor City mother of two, Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain announced.
Rafael J, Olmo, 31, of the 400 block of Philadelphia Avenue, Egg Harbor City, NJ, and Mario J. Adams, 32, of the 1100 block of Applefield Loop, Hammonton, NJ, were sentenced today to imprisonment in New Jersey State prison for the murder of Deanna Downs, 29 years old. Downs was found shot dead behind her residence at Harbor City Apartments, Atlantic Avenue, Egg Harbor City, in October 2010.

Shortly after midnight on Oct. 16, 2010, Egg Harbor City Police and detectives of the Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit responded to the Harbor City Apartments on Atlantic Avenue in Egg Harbor City for a report that a resident walking to his mailbox had discovered a body behind apartment buildings J and K. Upon arrival, police located Deanna Downs, dead of a gunshot wound to the head.
A six-month investigation by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office and the Egg Harbor City Police Department resulted in charges against Olmo, Adams, and Dontay Matthews, now 24 years-old, of the 4800 block of Reading Avenue, Elwood, NJ, for their parts in the murder of Deanna Downs.
The State alleged that Rafael Olmo paid Mario Adams to kill Downs, and had Matthews watch Downs to contact Adams when she was alone. The State further alleged that Olmo arranged Downs’ murder because she was a witness to a 2009 shooting for which Olmo had been indicted. That case is pending court.
Pursuant to a plea agreement, Dontay Matthews pled guilty to conspiracy to commit murder, and was sentenced on May 30, 2014 to 10 years of incarceration in New Jersey State prison. Pursuant to the No Early Release Act (NERA), Matthews must serve 85% of the sentence—81⁄2 years in prison—before becoming eligible for parole.
The charges against Olmo and Adams went to trial.
On March 17, 2014, an Atlantic County jury found Rafael Olmo guilty of all criminal counts: murder, conspiracy to commit murder, procurement of murder, murder for the purpose of escaping punishment for another offense, two (2) counts of witness tampering employing force or threat of force, and one (1) count of conspiracy to commit witness tampering.
Mario Adams was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder, two (2) counts of witness tampering employing force or threat of force, and conspiracy to commit witness tampering.
Today, Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Kyran Connor sentenced Rafael J. Olmo to Life in Prison without the possibility of parole, plus an additional 10 years in New Jersey State prison for the murder and related charges.
Judge Connor sentenced Mario J. Adams to 15 years of imprisonment for Conspiracy to Commit Murder. Pursuant to the No Early Release Act (NERA), Adams will serve 85% of the sentence—12 years and 9 months—before becoming eligible for parole. In addition, Adam received two 7-year terms of imprisonment with 3 1/2 and 3 years respectively before parole eligibility for the witness tampering charges.
In levying the sentences, Judge Connor stated that, “This case involved the execution of an innocent victim.”
Chief Assistant Prosecutor John Maher represented the State in the matter.

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 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 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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