Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today the two defendants charged with murdering Robert Foster Nevius, a 91-year-old Essex Fells man, have entered not guilty pleas.
Shaun Woodson, 25, of East Orange entered a not guilty plea at his arraignment today. Reginald Anthony, 29, also of East Orange entered a not guilty plea at his arraignment yesterday.
Last month an Essex County grand jury returned a nine-count indictment charging Anthony and Woodson with the April 14, 2010 murder of Mr. Nevius. They are also charged with felony murder, burglary, robbery, conspiracy and weapons offenses. Woodson was also charged with resisting arrest.
Anthony was hired as a fill-in chauffeur to drive Janet Nevius, the victim’s wife, to New York City for an overnight trip. It is alleged the two defendants beat, strangled and stabbed Nevius. Police discovered Mr. Nevius’s body the next day when he missed an appointment. Local police officers made a welfare check on the house after a friend became concerned.
It was only the second time Anthony had driven for the family. His aunt, the regular chauffeur, had worked for the family for 2 years. Prior reports erroneously indicated she had worked for the family for 12 years.
Assistant Prosecutor William G. Neafsey, who is handling the case, said, “This is a very sad case of an elderly man being brutally murdered in his own home. We are moving forward to prepare the matter for trial.’’
If convicted of the charges, both men face life in prison without possibility of parole.
These charges are accusations. All defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until they plead guilty or are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.