NJ man gets 70 years for killing, dismembering girlfriend

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ELIZABETH, N.J.  — A New Jersey man man who killed and dismembered his girlfriend before scattering her remains in at least two locations was sentenced to 70 years in prison Monday.

Matthew Ballister III, 47, killed April Wyckoff four years ago at his home, prosecutors said. She suffered multiple forms of blunt-force and sharp-force trauma to her head and legs.

Ballister tried to cover up her death, investigators found. He ran over her body with his Hummer in the driveway of his home and then disposed of her body several towns away. Ballister returned home with cleaning supplied from a Home Depot to cover up what happened.

“I’ve been doing this for many, many years. I’ve handled many, many murder cases, all of them brutal, violent murders, but this one was different,” Judge Stuart Peim said. “It was particularly vile and barbaric.”

Ballister was arrested two days after Wyckoff’s disappearance.

“There was zero remorse here,” Assistant Prosecutor Scott Peterson said.

Ballister’s mother, 74-year-old Eleanor Schofield, was arrested for allegedly helping her son cover up the crime. She remains charged with fourth-degree hindering apprehension for allegedly interfering with the investigation by attempting to assist in his efforts to conceal evidence of the crime.

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