FREEHOLD, N.J . — A teenage suspect who allegedly fatally shot his family on New Year's Eve made his first court appearance behind closed doors Wednesday.
No one, not even family members, were allowed inside the court room. Only the county prosecutor and the defense attorney assigned to the suspect were permitted.
The suspected shooter remains in the Middlesex County Juvenile Detention Center. That’s where juveniles are housed who are awaiting trial in Monmouth County.
The prosecutors office tells PIX11 that a not guilty plea was automatically entered on the suspects behalf. The prosecutor is still trying to move him up to be tried as an adult. A media request that today’s hearing be made public was denied.
An obituary for one of the victims, Mary Ann Schulz, 70, said she was the ‘lifelong companion and soulmate’ of the suspect’s grandfather, Adrian Kologi. He and 2 others survived the shooting. The suspect’s parents, Steve and Linda, and sister Brittany Kologi, did not.
Schulz’ obituary says she was a local actress and historian. She was born in Long Branch.
“She had a warm presence, generous spirit, and her smile lit up the room,” it reads. She is survived by her 8 siblings and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Visitation for Schulz will be Friday, January 5 from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Woolley-Boglioli Funeral Home in Long Branch. A funeral mass is set for 11 a.m. at St. Jerome R.C. Church in West Long Branch.
Hundreds turned out to mourn Schulz and the Kologi family in last night’s bitter cold at a vigil at Franklin Lake Park.