Howell man faces 15 years in prison following guilty plea in Superior Court

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A Howell man has pleaded guilty to charges of attempted armed robbery and attempted burglary in connection with incidents that occurred in Howell and Jackson in early 2018, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced.

Tristan Reyes, 20, pleaded guilty on Feb. 19 to two counts of first degree attempted armed robbery and one count of third degree attempted burglary before state Superior Court Judge Richard W. English, sitting in Freehold, according to Gramiccioni.

Under the terms of a plea agreement, Reyes faces a term of 15 years in state prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced by English on April 18. Reyes has remained incarcerated at the Monmouth County jail, Freehold Township, since his arrest on March 9, 2018.

Gramiccioni said the charges lodged against Reyes stemmed from incidents that occurred in February 2018 and March 2018 in Howell and Jackson.

In each incident, Reyes observed a woman shopping alone in a local store, followed the woman in the store and then drove behind each woman to her home. The three women ranged in age from 18 to 38.

During his plea, Reyes admitted he did not know any of the women and said he followed them home in order to rob them while he was armed with a knife. Gramiccioni said Reyes’ efforts were thwarted before anyone was injured.

In one instance, Reyes followed a woman to her home in Jackson, went to the front door and entered the home after he asked to use the phone and was allowed inside by the woman’s 20-year-old daughter. The prosecutor said Reyes was surprised another person was home and he fled the scene.

In a second instance, an 18-year-old woman called her father after she grew suspicious of an individual who was driving a minivan and following her. After trying maneuvers to lose the minivan, the woman drove to her home in Howell, at which time her father placed his car in a position to block any further pursuit. The driver of the minivan made a U-turn and drove away.

In a third instance, Reyes walked up a driveway at a Howell residence and looked into an open garage. Gramiccioni said a dog came out of the garage, causing Reyes to return to his vehicle and flee the scene.

Reyes was arrested by Howell police on March 9, 2018 after he and his vehicle were identified through store surveillance tapes, according to the prosecutor.

Reyes was indicted in mid-2018. He was initially charged with two counts of attempted armed robbery, four counts of attempted aggravated sexual assault, two counts of attempted burglary, two counts of possession of a weapon (knife) for an unlawful purpose, two counts of unlawful possession of a weapon (knife), and one count of attempted burglary.

On Feb. 19, Reyes pleaded guilty to two counts of first degree attempted armed robbery and one count of third degree attempted burglary.