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Man Accused of Killing Real Estate Agent in East Rutherford NJ

A former real estate agent has been charged with killing a 70-year-old East Rutherford NJ woman before setting her Sheppard Terrace house on fire.

38-year-old Daniel T. Rochat allegedly killed Barbara Vernieri, a fellow real estate salesperson, in September 2012. According to police, Mr. Rochat set the fire to cover up his crime. Later, a forensic examination was conducted on the body left inside the house.

In July, a Bergen County Superior Court grand jury indicted Mr. Rochat on several counts, including murder, causing death during a burglary, and arson.

If the prosecution and the defense cannot work out a plea agreement, Mr. Rochat will stand trial in Bergen County Superior Court next year. Although Bergen County prosecutors do not typically offer plea bargains in murder cases, they may be willing to listen to offers made by defense attorneys.

Homicide is the most serious criminal offense in New Jersey. N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3 classifies criminal murder as a first degree felony. If Mr. Rochat is convicted of first degree murder, he can be sentenced to life in New Jersey State Prison.

For more information, access the NJ.com article entitled “Ex-Real Estate Agent Arraigned in Murder, Burning of East Rutherford Woman, 70.

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