The following information comes from an official release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.
A Monmouth County Grand Jury handed up an indictment charging Richard Busby, 55 and Jeffery Mayhue, 49, both formerly of Neptune Township for the 2011 home invasion and murder of Michael Conway of Freehold Township, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced today.
This indictment stems from an incident that occurred during the early morning hours of July 31, 2011, in Freehold Township. At approximately 6:10 a.m. on that date, firefighters and police responded to a house fire located at 200 Jackson Mills Road. Once the fire was extinguished, police discovered that one of the residents, 42-year-old Michael Conway, had died as a result of the injuries that he had sustained. A joint investigation into the death of Conway was commenced by the Freehold Township Police Department and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.
The investigation revealed that Busby and Mayhue entered Conway’s home, occupied by Conway and his girlfriend, during the early morning hours of July 31, 2011. They were armed with a handgun and were looking for money. The investigation further revealed that Mayhue and Busby killed Conway and then set fire to his house. After the fire was ignited, Busby and Mayhue fled the scene. Conway’s girlfriend was able to escape from the burning house through a window, ran to a neighbor’s house, and requested that the neighbor call 9-1-1.
Both Busby and Mayhue are charged in the indictment with one count each of murder, felony murder, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, aggravated arson, unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and certain persons not to have weapons.
Both the murder and felony murder are crimes of the first degree and carry a maximum sentence of life in prison. Robbery, in these circumstances, is also a crime of the first degree and carries with it a maximum sentence of 20 years. Aggravated arson is a crime of the second-degree and carries a maximum prison sentence of ten years. Conspiracy is a second-degree crime and carries a maximum sentence of 10 years as well.
These charges are also subject to the No Early Release Act (N.E.R.A.), which means that if convicted, Busby and Mayhue could not be paroled until each had served 85% of their sentence. Unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and certain persons not to have weapons, carry maximum prison sentences of up to 10 years each, but are not subject to N.E.R.A. However, the crimes of unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose fall under the Graves Act sentencing provision, which means that any sentence imposed upon conviction of either would require the imposition of a period of parole ineligibility of between one third and one half the total sentence, or three years, whichever is greater.
Both Busby and Mayhue are presently incarcerated at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution on $1,500,000.00 each.
Assistant Prosecutors Thomas C. Huth and Sean J. Brennan are prosecuting the case for the State. Busby is represented by John Perrone, Esq. of Red Bank and Mayhue is represented by Albert Kapin, Esq. of Newark.
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial in which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.