Camden, NJ – A Camden man was sentenced today to 63 years in New Jersey State Prison in connection with a fatal shooting at a Camden gas station in 2020, announced Camden County Prosecutor Grace C. MacAulay. Cornell Tarte, 35, was previously found guilty at trial of 1st-degree Murder in the shooting death of 45-year-old Michael Milton of Woodlynne. Tarte was also found guilty of one count each of 2nd-degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, 2nd-degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, and 2nd-degree Certain Persons not to Possess Weapons.
A Camden County Jury returned the guilty verdict on December 20, 2022, following a seven-week trial before the Honorable David Ragonese, J.S.C. On September 7, 2020, shortly before midnight, the Camden County Police Department were called to the Gulf Gas Station – commonly known as the “AM/PM” – located at 1033 Kaighn Avenue in Camden for a report of an injured man. The victim was taken to Virtua Hospital in Camden before police arrived. Milton was subsequently pronounced deceased at the hospital. During the investigation, detectives learned Milton was shot in the head in his vehicle shortly before 11:18 p.m. but wasn’t discovered for more than 30 minutes.
Detectives located surveillance video footage of an individual approaching Milton’s vehicle, firing a single shot into the front driver’s side, and then walking away. Using surveillance video footage from multiple locations, Tarte was ultimately determined to be the person who shot Milton.
Tarte was arrested on unrelated charges by the U.S. Marshals Regional Fugitive Task Force – Camden Division in Atlantic City on September 28, 2020. A cell phone seized from Tarte’s pocket at that time was later determined to have digital photos of a Ruger EC9s 9mm-caliber handgun on it. Months later, a Ruger EC9s 9mmcaliber handgun was recovered in Burlington County in March 2021 and later determined to be a ballistic match to a 9mm shell casing collected at the scene. Tarte must serve 85 percent of the 63-year sentence before being eligible for parole under the No Early Release Act.