Charges filed in homicide at Essex County Correctional Facility

NEWARK, NJ — Ashton D. Barthelus, 26, of Carteret, has been charged with the murder of Dan G. Milford Gelin, 27, of Elizabeth, according to a Dec. 9 press release from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. It is alleged that Barthelus fatally stabbed Gelin at the Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark.

Gelin was transported to University Hospital on Dec. 3, where he was pronounced dead. An investigation led to Barthelus being charged with first-degree murder, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. Both men were inmates at the Essex County Correctional Facility at the time.

The homicide investigation remains active and ongoing. It is being handled by the ECPO’s Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force.

The Attorney General’s Office is investigating the conduct of the correctional officers and other jail staff pursuant to AG Directive 2019-4, which implements the statutory requirement that the Attorney General’s Office conduct the investigation of any death that occurs during an encounter with a law enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity or while the decedent is in custody. 

Per the directive, the investigation is bifurcated, with the Attorney General’s Office investigating the conduct of correctional officers and other jail staff, and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office investigating the alleged homicide.

These charges are accusations. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they enter a guilty plea or are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the ECPO tips line at 1-877-847-7432. Calls will be kept confidential.

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