BRICK, NJ – Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on July 2, 2020, Ciara Williams, 27, of Brick Township, pled guilty to Reckless Manslaughter in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4 before the Honorable Rochelle Gizinski, J.S.C. At the time of the sentencing on September 4, 2020, the State will be seeking a term of five years New Jersey State Prison.
On Sunday, September 29, 2019, Brick Township Police were summoned to Ocean Medical Center in Brick regarding a male victim with an apparent stab wound to his chest. Police were able to ascertain that the victim, Dennis Power, 35, also of Brick, was driven to the hospital by a female later determined to be his fiancé, Ciara Williams. Hospital staff responded to the vehicle and found Mr. Power unconscious but breathing. He was rushed inside the hospital where lifesaving measures were attempted; these efforts were unsuccessful, however, and Mr. Power succumbed to his injuries. A subsequent investigation determined that Williams fled the scene before police arrived. Further investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Brick Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit revealed that Williams stabbed Mr. Power in the chest, and was responsible for the injuries which ultimately led to his death.
“Although Ms. Williams was originally facing more significant charges with greater sentencing exposure, legitimate self-defense claims arose during the course of our investigation which we simply could not ignore, and which we were required to take into account in evaluating this very difficult case,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated. “The claims of self-defense, combined with considerable proof problems led to this resolution which we believe to be just and reasonable after careful consideration of the facts under circumstances,” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.
Prosecutor Billhimer would like to acknowledge the diligence of Senior Assistant Prosecutors Kristin Pressman and Mara Brater who handled the case on behalf of the State. Prosecutor Billhimer likewise extends his gratitude to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Brick Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit for their collective assistance in the investigation which ultimately resulted in this guilty plea.