Gov. Chris Christie granted clemency Friday to 26 people convicted of crimes, including a woman convicted of murder in Ocean County whose sentence was commuted, and another convicted of harassment and drug charges in Cape May County who was pardoned.
Clemency can be either a full pardon that erases the criminal history from a person’s record or a commutation of sentence that frees a convicted person from incarceration but does not erase the conviction. If someone is still in jail, a pardon includes immediate release.
According to a statement from the Governor’s Office, Lisa A. Pyatt was arrested June 19, 1991, and later convicted of murder in Ocean County Superior Court. Since 1993, she had been serving a 30-year minimum term of a 40-year sentence.
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Pyatt’s sentence was commuted, and she is to be released from prison as soon as administratively possible.
According to media reports at the time, Pyatt, then 25, was convicted of murder in the stabbing death of her fiance, Kevin Patrick McGowan. At trial, Pyatt said she was a victim of domestic violence.
She also said after her conviction in an appeal that her defense attorney had not informed her of a deal offered by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office to plead to aggravated manslaughter. But her conviction was upheld.
Amy M. Armbruster was arrested on harassment charges in Wildwood in 2001 and on drug charges from 2001 to 2004, and convicted in Cape May County Superior Court, according to the Governor’s Office. She received a full pardon but was no longer incarcerated.
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Enrico Imbrogno Jr. was arrested Jan. 20, 1987, and later convicted in Atlantic County Superior Court of possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, the Governor’s Office said. He received a full pardon but was no longer incarcerated.
Adrian Rubio, arrested April 14, 2016, and later convicted of unlawful possession of a handgun in Camden County, also was pardoned. His was the only pardon of a still-incarcerated person, and he is to be released from Department of Corrections custody as soon as administratively possible.
Since taking office, Christie has issued clemency to 55 people, including 52 pardons and three commutations, his office said.
The most common crimes for which the pardoned individuals had been convicted were possession of a handgun and drug offenses, according to copies of the pardons.