Edwin Urbina & Krystal Straw Sentenced in Connection with Murder
Published on March 16, 2023
Morris County Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll, First Assistant Prosecutor Maggie Calderwood, Chief of Detectives Robert McNally, and East Hanover Chief of Police Christopher F. Cannizzo announce the sentencing of Edwin Urbina, 29, and Krystal Straw, 29, in connection with the beating death of Straw’s three-year-old son.
On January 12, 2023, Straw appeared before the Honorable Stephen J. Taylor, P.J.Cr. and entered an open plea of guilty to two counts of second-degree Endangering Welfare of a Child, three counts of third-degree Hindering Apprehension, third-degree Tampering with a Witness, and fourth-degree Tampering with Physical Evidence.
On March 1, 2023, a jury returned a guilty verdict for Urbina following a seven-day trial. The defendant was found guilty of first-degree Murder with an Aggravating Factor, three counts of second-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child, third-degree Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution, two counts of third-degree Tampering with a Witness, and fourth-degree Tampering with Evidence.
On March 16, 2023, Judge Taylor imposed sentences for both defendants during separate court proceedings. Urbina was sentenced to an aggregate sentence of Life imprisonment without eligibility for parole plus 20 years subject to 10 years parole ineligibility. The sentence shall be served in a maximum security prison. Straw was sentenced to an aggregate sentence of 18 years imprisonment subject to five years parole ineligibility.
The two cases arise from an incident that occurred on August 13, 2021. Shortly after 5:00 a.m., officers from the Morristown Police Department responded to the Morristown Medical Center in Morristown on a report of a three-year-old boy in cardiac arrest. A subsequent investigation revealed that the child had sustained a number of physical injuries. Following an autopsy, Morris County Deputy Medical Examiner Dr. Carlos Fonseca, M.D. determined the manner of death to be homicide.
The investigation revealed that Urbina fatally beat the child in the early morning hours of August 13, 2021, resulting in the boy’s death, while at the OYO Hotel, 130 Rt. 10 West in East Hanover, New Jersey. The investigation further revealed that the murder was witnessed by the victim’s five-year-old sibling. Further investigation revealed that the victim’s mother, Straw, was not present during the assault, but arrived at the hotel shortly thereafter. Following the victim’s death, both Urbina and Straw engaged in conduct to hinder the State’s investigation including removing Urbina and his personal belongings from the OYO Hotel, deleting cell phone content, and informing the victim’s five-year-old sibling not to speak about the incident.
The investigation also revealed that Urbina had physically abused the victim on prior occasions.
On August 17, 2021, Urbina was taken into custody without incident outside the Morris County Records and Administration Building in Morristown, New Jersey. Straw had previously been charged and arrested on August 13, 2021, in connection with this incident. Both Urbina and Straw remained in the Morris County Correctional Facility during the pendency of their criminal cases.
Prosecutor Carroll said, “These sentencings bring to a close this terrible and tragic crime. Justice has finally been done for little 3 year old Liam.”
Prosecutor Carroll would like to thank and acknowledge the agencies that participated in the investigation that led to the successful prosecution, including the exhaustive efforts of the East Hanover Police Department, the Morristown Police Department, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, the Morris County Medical Examiner’s Office, and various Units in the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office in working together to investigate this incident leading to the guilty verdict. The Prosecutor would also like to especially thank Assistant Prosecutor Tara Wang and Senior Assistant Prosecutor Kelly Sandler, who tried this case in court, and MCPO Detective Matthew Belcastro and East Hanover Det. Lt. Andrew Underwood for their outstanding efforts in the prosecution of this case.
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