The multipronged case, which dates back to 2015, was described by Superior Court Judge David F. Bauman of Monmouth County this month—according to a recent report from the Associated Press—as one of “cold-hearted depravity” at the hands of 38-year-old Jennifer Sweeney.
In September of last year, Sweeney was found guilty of first-degree murder and first-degree conspiracy to commit murder, among other charges, in the death of 41-year-old Tyrita Julius. In a statement shared with the Asbury Park Press at the time, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey said she hoped the verdict would provide “some sense of solace and closure” for the victim’s loved ones.
The 95-year sentence is comprised of 20 years for what the court has said was Sweeney’s initial unsuccessful attempt at killing Julius, which saw Sweeney ordering high school friend Andre Harris to shoot her, as well as 75 years for the subsequent murder involving the use of an electrical cord.
Harris ultimately struck a plea deal and testified that Sweeney had threatened him and his family with violence if he declined to shoot Julius in 2015 using a weapon she supplied. The shooting took place in November of that year, with both Julius and her teen daughter surviving the incident, despite being shot eight times.
By March of the following year, however, Julius was reported missing. Her body was found several months later, with Harris stating in his Asbury Park Press-cited testimony that Sweeney had arrived at his home on March 8 with Julius’ dead body in the passenger seat of her car. According to Harris, Sweeney again made threats against him, spurring him to assist in the disposal of the body, which was found by investigators in two trash bags buried in the backyard of Harris’ home in Long Branch.
Sweeney—seen above in footage of a 2016 bail reduction hearing—was also convicted last year on charges of desecration of human remains, tampering with physical evidence, and multiple weapons-related counts. The murder victim’s mother, Queen Julius, said at this month’s sentencing hearing that she will “forever be heartbroken” over her daughter’s death.