(FREEHOLD) An Asbury Park man who admitted he was responsible for the 2011 shooting death of another city man was sentenced to 20 years in a New Jersey state prison, announced Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
Gregory Hopson, Jr., 25, was sentenced Friday by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Ronald L. Reisner, J.S.C. for the shooting death of RyeKill Agostini, 30, also of Asbury Park. The 20-year sentence is subject to the provisions of the No Early Release Act (NERA), requiring Hopson to serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed, or 17 years, before being eligible for parole. In imposing his sentence, Judge Reisner cited numerous aggravating factors including Hopson’s involvement in a criminal street gang, his prior criminal record, the risk he will commit another offense, and the need to deter others from violating the law. He found no mitigating factors. Hopson pleaded guilty on February 18, 2014, to the first degree crime of Aggravated Manslaughter before Judge Reisner.
Asbury Park police were responding to a 911 call around 2:11 a.m. on October 2, 2011, reporting a disorderly male at Mr. Pizza when gunshots were heard from the 100 block of Ridge Avenue. The responding officer found Agostini seated in the driver’s seat of a vehicle but unresponsive. He was transported to the Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune Township, where he died from his injuries the following day. An autopsy determined the cause of death was gunshot wounds to the head.
A subsequent investigation revealed Hopson shot Agostini following a verbal dispute, leading to Hopson’s arrest on April 14, 2012.
Hopson admitted in court he saw Agostini in a car near the intersection of Bangs Avenue and Ridge
Avenue, shot him, and later learned he killed his victim. The handgun was never recovered.
Hopson also was sentenced to a concurrent three year prison term on an unrelated charge of third degree Theft stemming from an incident that occurred in the Cameo Bar in Asbury Park, less two hours prior to the shooting of Agostini.
The plea agreement was reached after consultation with, and the approval of, the victim’s family.
Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutors Diane Aifer and Paul Alexander handled the case for the State.
Hopson was represented by Allison Tucker, Esq., of Freehold.