Virginia Vertetis Sentenced to 20 Years in New Jersey State Prison

Published on November 19, 2021

Morris County Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll, First Assistant Prosecutor Maggie Calderwood and Chief of Detectives Christoph Kimker, and Mount Olive Police Chief Steven Beecher announce that Virginia Vertetis, age 59, was sentenced to 20 years in New Jersey State Prison on November 18, 2021.

The underlying incident was first reported to police just before 10 p.m. on March 3, 2014, when officers with the Mount Olive Police Department responded to 2 Apollo Way in the Flanders section of the township after a 911 call by the victim’s daughter.  First responding officers found the body of the victim, identified as Patrick Gilhuley, immediately inside the front entrance of Vertetis’ home.  Gilhuley was pronounced dead at the scene and Vertetis was arrested shortly afterwards.  The investigation would reveal that Vertetis fatally shot the victim within her home.

On September 28, 2021, Vertetis entered a guilty plea to an amended charge of first degree Aggravated Manslaughter before the Honorable Stephen J. Taylor, P.J.Cr.  Vertetis’ initial conviction for Murder and Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose had been reversed on appeal in March 2020, and the case was remanded for a new trial.

On November 18, 2021, Judge Taylor adopted the negotiated sentence recommendation and imposed 20 years imprisonment subject to No Early Release Act.  The defendant was given approximately 7.5 years of jail credit since the time she was initially arrested and taken into custody.

Prosecutor Carroll would like to thank the agencies that participated in the investigation that led to the successful guilty plea, including the Mount Olive Police Department, Crime Scene Investigation Unit of the Morris County Sheriff's Office, Morris County Medical Examiner's Office, and the New Jersey State Police Office of Forensic Sciences, and the Major Crimes Unit of the Morris County Prosecutor's Office.

Inquiries concerning this press release should be directed to Public Information Officer Meghan Knab at [email protected] or by phone at 973-829-8159. 

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