ECPO: Man charged with murder of fellow inmate at Essex jail

Ashton D. Barthelus ECPO

An inmate at the Essex County Correctional Facility has been charged with the Dec. 3 murder of another inmate, Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II said.

Ashton D. Barthelus, 26, of Carteret has been charged with the murder of Dan G. Milford Gelin, 27, of Elizabeth. It is alleged that Barthelus fatally stabbed Gelin in the Essex County Correctional Facility located on the 300 block of Doremus Avenue in Newark.

Gelin was transported to University Hospital Dec. 3 where he was pronounced dead at 9:03 a.m.  An investigation led to Barthelus being charged with first degree murder, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

The homicide investigation remains active and ongoing. It is being handled by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force.

The Attorney General’s Office is investigating the conduct of the correctional officers and other jail staff pursuant to AG Directive 2019-4, which implements the statutory requirement that the Attorney General’s Office conduct the investigation of any death that occurs during an encounter with a law enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity or while the decedent is in custody.

Per Section II.H.3 of the Directive, the investigation is bifurcated, with the AG’s Office investigating the conduct of correctional officers and other jail staff, and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office investigating the alleged homicide.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office tips line at (877) 847-7432.

All calls will be kept confidential.

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