A Bridgeton man pleaded guilty Friday to causing the death of an 81-year-old Vineland man he crashed into while eluding police after a high-speed chase in a stolen paramedic vehicle in 2010.
Michael A. Jones, 48, pleaded to aggravated manslaughter, eluding police and theft of an auto in Cumberland County Superior Court Friday, according to Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae. When Jones is sentenced Aug. 9 before Superior Court Judge Cristen D’Arrigo he faces 30 years under his plea agreement. He will be eligible for parole after 25 and a half years.
Authorities said that on the morning of March 30, 2010, Jones stole a paramedic SUV in Franklin Township, Gloucester County, and then eluded police through Hamilton Township and Vineland, where he was chased by police at speeds as high of 100 mph. The chase was eventually called off, but a short time later Jones broadsided a vehicle on Holmes Avenue driven by Alfred S. Costantino – who died from injuries from the crash.
Costantino formerly ran the Southern Kitchen restaurant and did work with real estate. He was on his way to a business meeting at Larry’s II restaurant when he was killed.
Jones had an extensive criminal history including 53 arrests between 1983 and the incident in 2010.
He had been convicted of 21 crimes and five parole violations since 1983, including several convictions for escape and eluding police. Jones was released from Southern State Correctional Facility in Maurice River Township on Aug. 29, 2009 — where he had been serving prison time there for eluding police while operating a vehicle in Essex County.
Jones' prior convictions are largely for charges such as burglary, theft, larceny, disorderly behavior and resisting arrest. He has convictions in several other counties, including Essex, Union, Passaic, Middlesex, Morris and Camden,
Contact Joel Landau:
Follow Joel Landau on Twitter @landaupressofac