Keansburg resident charged with Keyport murder


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A Keansburg man has been charged with murdering a Keyport man on the afternoon of Aug. 9, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced.

Gramiccioni said John Curtin, 19, has been charged with first degree murder, first degree felony murder, first degree robbery, second degree unlawful possession of a weapon, and second degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

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Gramiccioni said Curtin is charged with shooting and killing Evan Smutz, 20, inside Smutz’s Center Street apartment in Keyport.

The prosecutor credited detectives in his office and the Keyport Police Department with the investigation that led to Curtin’s arrest during the overnight hours of Aug. 9-10.

Keyport police responded to a 911 call reporting a shooting at 12:48 p.m. on Aug. 9 at 2 Center Street. Police arrived to find Smutz with a gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at 1:21 p.m.

A joint investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the Keyport Police Department determined Curtin arrived at Smutz’s apartment, and while inside, an argument ensued that allegedly culminated with Curtin fatally shooting Smutz.

In the hours following the incident, dozens of individuals could be seen standing near yellow caution tape that closed the Holmdel Pointe apartment complex to vehicles and to residents who live in the area.

Gramiccioni said Curtin fled Smutz’s apartment after the shooting. Hours later Curtin surrendered to the New York Police Department and was returned to Monmouth County.

If convicted of murder or felony murder, Curtin faces a minimum sentence of 30 years in state prison without parole and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. If convicted of robbery, Curtin faces a sentence of up to 20 years in a state prison.

Anyone with additional information about this case is asked to call Detective Ryan Mahony of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 1-800-533-7443 or Detective Sgt. Joe Redina of the Keyport Police Department at 732-264-0706.

Independent staff writer Kelly Giuliano contributed to this article.

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