Guilty verdicts delivered in 2017 New Year’s Eve family massacre in Long Branch

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Scott Kologi murder trial. Screen capture courtesy of the New Jersey Courts.

LONG BRANCH, NJ – One of the Jersey Shore’s most violent criminal cases in recent history has concluded with multiple guilty verdicts delivered against Scott Kologi.

On New Year’s Eve, 2017, Scott Kologi shot and killed four members of his own family with a high-powered rifle.

“Scott Kologi, 20, was convicted on all charges, including four counts of first-degree murder and a second-degree weapons offense, following an approximately two-week trial before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Marc C. Lemieux and several hours of jury deliberation,” Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced Thursday.   

According to court records and a statement released Thursday, members of the Long Branch Police Department and Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call reporting shots fired at 635 Wall Street at approximately 11:43 p.m. on Sunday, December 31, 2017. Upon arrival, they found the four victims, each having sustained gunshot wounds, at various locations inside the home: the defendant’s sister, 18-year-old Brittany Kologi; his mother, 44-year-old Linda Kologi; his father, 42-year-old Steven Kologi; and his grandfather’s companion, 70-year-old Mary Schultz of Ocean Township.

“Scott Kologi was arrested at the scene, where the Century Arms C39v2 semi-automatic rifle used in the shooting was also recovered,” the MCPO said.

Kologi, who was 16 at the time of the shootings, was waived to Superior Court. He was subsequently indicted on the current charges.  

“The jury’s verdict confirms that Scott Kologi was responsible for his decisions and actions on the night that culminated with him killing four members of his family,” Acting Prosecutor Linskey said. “This trial hinged on issues of mental health and the responsibility of this defendant. It is clear that the jury considered all of the evidence, including the testimony of expert witnesses, as well as the applicable law, in rendering its verdict. In recognizing the criminality of the defendant’s actions, we also recognize that this is a tragedy for all of the family members who are left to mourn this tremendous loss. This Office will continue to hold the perpetrators of gun violence responsible.”

Kologi’s sentencing has been scheduled for Thursday, June 30, at which time he will face up to four life sentences in state prison.