Ex-honors student, 21, is sentenced to  33 years in prison for the death of a marijuana dealer 

Mail Online | 11/29/2017 | Associated Press;Mary Kekatos For Dailymail.com
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A former New Jersey community college honors student was sentenced to 33 years in prison on Friday for the death of a marijuana dealer.

According to The Asbury Park Press, 21-year-old Raquel Garajau, a former student at Brookdale Community College, was convicted of first-degree felony murder and will have to serve 30 years before being eligible for parole.

Prosecutors - Boyfriend - Joseph - Villani - Trupal

Prosecutors say she and her 22-year-old boyfriend, Joseph Villani, plotted to kill Trupal Patel, 29, to steal and sell his marijuana stash.

Patel was shot at his home in Ocean Township and his body was found in Shark River Park in Wall Township in February 2017.

Defense - Garajau - Woman - Love - Boyfriend

The defense argued Garajau was a young woman in love who may have helped her boyfriend clean up the crime scene, but didn't help plan the robbery or murder.

Villani pleaded guilty earlier this month to aggravated manslaughter, armed robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, disturbing human remains and witness tampering.

March - Years - Prison

At his sentencing on March 21, he could face up to 40 years in prison.

Although Villani earlier insisted that Garajau had no role in the killing, he said she helped plan the robbery and discussed cleaning up the crime scene afterward.

Garajau - Charges - Conspiracy - Robbery - Robbery

Garajau was also found guilty on 15 other charges including conspiracy to commit armed robbery, armed robbery, conspiracy to commit theft of marijuana, theft of marijuana, conspiracy to commit theft of cash, theft of cash, weapons offenses, conspiracy to distribute marijuana, tampering with evidence, hindering apprehension of herself and Villani, and tampering with a witness, according to New Jersey 101.5.

She told Superior Court Judge Joseph Oxley that she maintains her innocence and 'had no knowledge' that Patel would be killed.


Under questioning from the judge,...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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