Neri Sanchez first appearance

BRIDGETON — Jerome Chestnut was fatally shot in the back of his head in Millville on Nov. 14.

The revelation was made by Superior Court Judge Robert Malestein on Friday as the man who allegedly killed Chestnut had his first appearance in Superior Court.

Neri Sanchez, 28, said little as he stood before Malestein. Sanchez primarily nodded “yes” or “no” to questions from Malestein.

Sanchez is charged with murder, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

Malestein let bail for Sanchez remain at $500,000 cash. He said the bail is in the “middle of the range” for the type of charges lodged against Sanchez.

Authorities allege that Sanchez shot the 27-year-old Chestnut in a unit of the Oakview apartment complex on East Broad Street in Millville. Sanchez lives at the complex. Chestnut’s last known address was at the Mill Village apartment complex, which is on Wade Boulevard and near Oakview.

City police said they responded to a 6 p.m. report of a possible gunshot victim and found Chestnut lying unconscious in the Oakview apartment complex unit. Chestnut was eventually pronounced dead at the scene, they said.

Authorities are not commenting on what prompted the shooting.

However, Millville police said Sanchez and Chestnut were “hanging out” with “several people” in the apartment complex unit. The investigation is continuing to determine “other possible witnesses and the events of the evening,” they said.

Sanchez was arrested Wednesday while he was in the Cumberland County jail in Bridgeton after his arrest on a failure-to-appear warrant, authorities said. Millville police took Sanchez into custody in connection with the warrant during the early-morning hours Saturday, they said.

An investigation by Millville police and the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office identified Sanchez as the alleged shooter, authorities said.

Contact Thomas Barlas:

609-226-9197

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