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James S. Catona Pleads Guilty to Vehicular Homicide


WOODBURY NJ (January 26, 2016)--James S. Catona (DOB 7/22/87), of Washington Township NJ pleaded guilty today (1/25) to one count of vehicular homicide and two counts of assault by auto in connection with a head-on collision in Washington Township on 8/8/14 that killed 27-year-old Woodbine NJ resident Michael Williams and injured his four year-old son and another passenger in his car.

 Catona entered the pleas without a sentencing recommendation from Assistant Gloucester County Prosecutor Staci Scheetz, who had been preparing the case for trial. As a result of the so-called "open" plea, Superior Court Judge Robert P. Becker will decide Catona' s sentence. He faces a maximum state prison term of 10 years on the second-degree death by auto charge and 18 months on each of the assault by auto offenses, in addition to penalties for driving while intoxicated.

Judge Becker scheduled sentencing for 3/4/16.

The crash occurred in Delsea Drive (Rt 47) between County House and Salina roads when the Nissan Maxima Catona was driving southbound crossed the center line of the road and struck the Honda Civic Williams was driving.  Williams was pronounced dead at the scene. His son and a passenger, 24-year old Marcus Owens of Millville NJ, were injured and transported to Cooper Medical Center in Camden for treatment.