Stephen J. Paul, 44, pled guilty to Aggravated Manslaughter (First Degree) last month in Superior Court, admitting to stabbing Edward Williams, 70, multiple times during a physical confrontation at Paul’s residence on August 1, 2017. Williams, a Westampton resident, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The State requested a sentence of 30 years, in accordance with its plea agreement with the defendant. The Hon. Philip E. Haines, J.S.C., handed down a 27-year sentence following a hearing on May 25. Under the state’s No Early Release Act, Paul must serve nearly 23 years before becoming eligible for parole consideration.
The homicide investigation began after police were called to the apartment by a relative who suspected the victim was inside, but was denied access to the residence by Paul. Burlington City Police entered the apartment with Paul’s permission and discovered the body of the victim. Paul was taken into custody without incident.
An autopsy performed by Burlington County Medical Examiner Dr. Ian Hood determined Williams died from multiple stab wounds.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Jeremy M. Lackey. The investigation was conducted by the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office and the City of Burlington Police Department, with assistance from the Westampton Township Police Department. The lead investigators were BCPO Detective Timothy Van Fossen and City of Burlington Police Detective Robert O’Brien.