Free Initial Consultation · 24 / 7

Recent News

Criminal Contempt Charge Was Dismissed Before Alleged Murder in Commercial Township, NJ

Published: January 22, 2017

Client Reviews

  • Upon reading the success in the reviews of Travis' law firm, I decided to give him a call. That call would be the best, life changing call I ever made. full review

  • After receiving a Restraining Order by an ex girlfriend accusing me of harassment which was false, I contacted the law firm. Chris helped to get the case dismissed as quickly as possible ... full review

  • He assured me that he would aggressively try to get this unsubstantiated TRO dismissed as well as the harassment charge. Sure enough he did just that and on such short notice that it left... full review

    a client

Cumberland County Domestic Violence Homicide Charges

Domestic violence cases happen to people in Commercial Township and all across Cumberland County and New Jersey on a regular basis, often with devastasting results. In the case below, multiple charges for domestic violence were dismissed before a man allegedly murdered his wife. Sometimes, cases like result in such tragic outcomes. But in all cases, there is a risk to everyone involved. The bottom line is that domestic violence is not easy to deal with on your own. Having an experienced domestic violence attorney available to explain the different types of domestic violence laws and the complicated court proceedings can help to clarify an otherwise confusing situation. The domestic violelence attorneys at the Tormey Law Firm have handled countless matters related to criminal contempt, temporary restraining orders, final restraining orders, and we’re ready to help you with any domestic violence situation you may be facing. Contact us for more information about how we can help with you.

Domestic Violence Charges in Commercial Township NJ

More details continue to emerge regarding the tragic death of Tara O’Shea-Watson, who was allegedly murdered by her estranged husband, Jeremiah Monell, on December 18, 2016. The homicide sparked a two-week manhunt for Monell.

According to police records, Monell had previously been charged with assaulting O’Shea-Watson during a burglary at her residence in the spring of 2016. However, those charges were ultimately dismissed one month before O’Shea-Watson was murdered in her home. The victim was reportedly stabbed repeatedly in her neck, abdomen, chest, and face.

According to court records, on April 26, 2016, Monell broke into O’Shea-Watson’s Cumberland County home and assaulted her. On August 10, 2016, a grand jury indicted Monell for second degree burglary and fourth degree criminal contempt. The criminal contempt charges stemmed from Monell’s alleged violation of a restraining order pursuant to the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act. In November 2016, the criminal contempt charges were dismissed, but the available documents do not clarify exactly why. It’s possible that the dismissal resulted from the prosecutor not being able to prove the criminal case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Although O’Shea-Watson had a restraining order against Monell, the burden of proof required to initially obtain a restraining order is much lower than the burden of proof required to prove a violation. In order for the court to enter a final restraining order, the court must find by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not, that the plaintiff is a victim of domestic violence and that the plaintiff needs to be protected from the defendant.

On the other hand, if a defendant is accused of violating a restraining order, that is a criminal offense. As with all criminal charges in New Jersey, a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt, a much higher burden of proof than the preponderance of the evidence, that the defendant knowingly violated a restraining order. Thus, it is possible that in Monell’s case there was insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he committed burglary and violated the restraining order. The end result of this inability to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt could have been the prosecutor’s decision to dismiss the charges.

Looking for a Commercial Township Domestic Violence Lawyer?

Our team appears in domestic violence cases in Cumberland County and throughout New Jersey every week. We have the knowledge and experience you need in your corner when looking to obtain the most favorable outcome. Call (908)-336-5008 if you have an upcoming court appearance and learn more.

Filed under: Homicide

Visit Our Offices

With offices in Hackensack, Morristown, Newark, Middletown, and New Brunswick, our lawyers can represent you anywhere in New Jersey and are available immediately to assist you at (908)-336-5008

Hackensack / Bergen County

254 State Street
Hackensack, NJ 07601

  • 201-556-1570
  • 201-556-1572
Hackensack Office

Morristown / Morris County

60 Washington St Suite 200A,
Morristown, NJ 07960

  • 908-336-5008
  • 201-556-1572
Morristown Office

Newark / Essex County

1 Gateway Center Suite 2600
Newark, NJ 07102

  • 201-654-3464
  • 201-556-1572
Newark Office

for a free initial consultation Contact the Tormey Law Firm

Travis J. Tormey is a distinguished member of the legal community and a respected legal resource on domestic violence. He has been featured in a variety of prominent publications and media outlets, including CBS radio, Aol News, the Asbury Park Press,, and the Daily Record. Mr. Tormey has also been recognized as one of the the top criminal attorneys under 40 years of age by the National Trial Lawyers Association and the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys. Whether representing victims or the wrongly accused, Travis remains passionately committed to protecting the rights of the innocent.

Areas we serve

The Tormey Law Firm LLC handles restraining order cases in Bergen County (Hackensack), Morris County (Morristown), Passaic County (Paterson), Union County (Elizabeth), Hudson County (Jersey City), Middlesex County (New Brunswick), Somerset County (Somerville), Sussex County (Newton), Essex County (Newark), Hunterdon County (Flemington), Mercer County (Trenton), Monmouth County (Freehold), Warren County (Belvidere), Ocean County (Toms River), Burlington County (Mount Holly), and throughout NJ.

Tell us how we can help

Contacting our office does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Please do not share any confidential information until such a relationship has been established.