Two convicted in 2010 murder of Egg Harbor City mom

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HAMILTON TOWNSHIP – Two Atlantic County men were found guilty in Superior Court Monday, March 17 in connection with the 2010 shooting death of an Egg Harbor City mother of two.

On Oct. 16, 2010 at 12:14 a.m. detectives of the Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit responded to a report that a resident walking to his mailbox had discovered a body behind apartment buildings J and K of the Harbor City Apartments, located on Atlantic Avenue in Egg Harbor City.

Deanna Downs, 29, a resident of the apartments, was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head, Acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain said.

A six-month investigation by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office resulted in charges against three men:

Dontay Matthews, now 24, of Elwood; Mario J. Adams, 31, of Hammonton; and Rafael J. Olmo, 30, of Egg Harbor City were charged.

It was alleged that Olmo paid Mario Adams to kill Downs, and had Matthews watch Downs and 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.

Olmo was found guilty on seven charges. Four were first-degree crimes: murder, conspiracy to commit murder, procurement of murder, and murder for the purpose of escaping punishment for another offense. Three were second-degree crimes: two counts of witness tampering employing force or threat of force, and one count of conspiracy to commit witness tampering.

The murder conviction carries a sentence of life imprisonment in state prison with a minimum of 30 years without parole. The conspiracy to commit murder conviction is punishable with a 10-20 year sentence of imprisonment and 85 percent of the sentence must be served before being eligible for parole. The procurement of murder and murder for the purpose of escaping punishment for another offense carry life sentences without parole. The second-degree crimes carry potential penalties of five to 10 years imprisonment.

Mario Adams was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder – a first-degree crime – two counts of witness tampering employing force or threat of force, and conspiracy to commit witness tampering, all second-degree crimes.

The conspiracy to commit murder conviction is punishable with 10 to 20 years in prison and 85 percent of the sentence must be served before being eligible for parole. The second-degree crimes carry potential penalties of five to 10 years imprisonment.

The third defendant, Dontay Matthews, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder, a first-degree crime, on Jan. 30, 2012.

The sentencing of Olmo and Adams is scheduled before Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Kyran Connor on June 5. Judge Connor revoked both defendants’ bail.

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 website at www.acpo.org 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 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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