MAYS LANDING – An Egg Harbor City man pled guilty to reckless manslaughter today in connection with the death last year of an Absecon man, Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain announced.
On Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015, at approximately 9:49 p.m., Pleasantville Police responded with emergency medical responders to an 800 block North Main Street business parking lot. Upon arrival, officers found Kyle Athill, 30, of Absecon, NJ, lying unconscious on the ground.
Athill was transported to the AtlantiCare Medical Center—City Division, with a life-threatening head injury.
As a result of a two-day investigation by the Pleasantville Police Department and the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, Zachariah Mays, then 24, of the 100 block of New York Avenue, Egg Harbor City, was arrested on Feb. 17th, charged with aggravated assault, for striking Athill and causing him head trauma.
Mays was lodged in the Atlantic County Justice Facility on the charge of aggravated assault in lieu of $250,000 cash bail, set by Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Mark Sandson, where he remains.
Athill was pronounced dead 3 days later, on February 18, 2015 at 10:20 a.m., by Dr. Ali of the Atlantic City Medical Center—City Division. An autopsy performed by Dr. Daksha Shah of the State Medical Examiner’s Office on February 20, 2015 determined the cause of death to be massive head trauma, and the manner of death to be homicide.
On Feb. 23, 2015, Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain authorized the charge of reckless manslaughter. Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Kyran Connor set bail at $250,000 full cash. The State alleged that Mays punched Athill in the head, causing him to fall and sustain the head injury that caused his eventual death.
Detectives from the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office and the Pleasantville Police Department served the complaint to Zachariah Mays at the Atlantic County Justice Facility, where he has remained.
On Wednesday, August 5, 2015, an Atlantic County Grand Jury indicted Mays on the reckless manslaughter charge, a crime of the 2nd degree that carries a potential penalty upon conviction of 5 to 10 years of incarceration.
Today, April 20, 2016, Mays pled guilty to reckless manslaughter before Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Patricia M. Wild.
In accordance with a negotiated plea agreement, Mays will serve 7 years of incarceration in New Jersey State prison, and be subject to 3 years of parole supervision upon release. Pursuant to the No Early Release Act (NERA), Mays must serve 85% of the sentence—5 years, 11 months, and 12 days—before becoming eligible for parole.
Judge Wild scheduled sentencing for June 17, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. Assistant Prosecutor Patrick Joyce represents 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 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.