A 31-year-old individual from Flemington, Samuel C. Coggins, has been convicted of first-degree murder and bias intimidation for the fatal assault of Augustine Garcia, a 50-year-old man from Manville. The incident occurred in July 2022, with Garcia being found severely injured outside a residence on North 12th Avenue, Manville. He later succumbed to his injuries at a local hospital.
According to Somerset County Prosecutor John McDonald, the investigation revealed that Coggins had been assisting Garcia in moving when the assault took place in the driveway. Despite having assisted with the move for two days without any issues, Coggins suddenly attacked Garcia, leading to his death.
It was noted that the severity of the crime, including indications of torture and extreme assault, may result in Coggins facing a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Moreover, due to the gravity of the crime, he could also receive an additional 15 to 30 years in a maximum-security prison. The sentencing is set for November 13.
The case gained notable attention due to its brutal nature, and the verdict came after a jury trial that commenced the week of September 25, concluding with a guilty verdict on October 3. The authorities are urging anyone with more information to come forward as the investigation continues.