Mullica Township man receives 30 years for killing his wife

Mullica Township man receives 30 years for killing his wife
  1. Mullica Township man receives 30 years for killing his wife
    MAYS LANDING — Defiantly claiming, “I am not a murderer,” Sergio DeRosa was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the fatal 2014 shooting of his wife in their Mullica Township home…
    New Jersey (NJ)

MAYS LANDING — Defiantly claiming, “I am not a murderer,” Sergio DeRosa was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the fatal 2014 shooting of his wife in their Mullica Township home.

DeRosa, 59, was given the statutory minimum of a 30-year state prison term for murder Tuesday morning by Atlantic County Superior Court Judge John R. Rauh. He must serve 30 years in prison before he is eligible for parole.

“Everybody tells me innocent men go to jail,” DeRosa said. “It’s not right. It’s not right. The facts are there. I’m not a murderer. I would never take anybody’s life.”

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The judge had the leeway to sentence DeRosa between 30 years and life in prison for the death of his wife of 35 years, Lynn, 57. She died May 26, 2014, of a shotgun wound to the head in their Pleasant Mills Road home.

The DeRosas owned and operated the Old Bay Restaurant and Bar in Egg Harbor City, later the Burger Pub. The pub had been closed for several years before Lynn DeRosa’s death.

Eight people sat on the side of the prosecutor, including Lynn DeRosa’s sister and one of her six cousins, Edward Vetrecin, 55, of Manahawkin. Six people sat on the defense side of the courtroom.

DeRosa’s defense attorney, Jill Cohen, of Westmont, Camden County, had sent Judge Rauh a letter asking for a new trial for DeRosa, but the judge did not grant it.

After the judge denied DeRosa a new trial, DeRosa addressed the court for 10 minutes, calling the shooting, as he has since it happened, a tragic accident that occurred when he was cleaning a shotgun while she was in the same room.

“The day my wife died, I died,” said DeRosa, who added he would fight his conviction. “I never intended to hurt my wife.”

DeRosa said he and Lynn DeRosa had been together since she was 18. They had verbal arguments, but he never raised his hand toward her, he said.

DeRosa said he offered to take a lie detector test. He said he did not plea bargain his case because he wanted the truth to come out. A jury found him guilty of murder in July.

“i’m not looking for pity, sir,” said DeRosa, who told the judge his wife’s spirit was standing by his side. “I suffer every day.”

DeRosa said he had nothing to gain by his wife’s death. They were not in debt, and he said he had recently purchased a Mercedes-Benz for her.

DeRosa’s son, State Police Trooper Christopher DeRosa, who testified for the state, was in court. DeRosa said he loves his son, but also said his son knows better than to think he murdered his mother.

Christopher DeRosa was the one who introduced guns into their household, Sergio DeRosa said, saying his wife took up shooting to have something in common to do with her son.

DeRosa, who was crying before he finished talking, said he would never get to see his granddaughter again.

Before DeRosa spoke, Chief Assistant Prosecutor Seth Levy read a letter from the deceased’s sister, Tracy Luty. Levy, quoting the letter, said that when the Sergio DeRosa took Lynn DeRosa’s l…

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