Montclair Man Pleads Not Guilty in Villanova Student Murder
The case will go before a grand jury in December.
The Montclair man accused of shooting to death a Villanova University student in Montclair pled not guilty early Tuesday at his arraignment in Essex County Superior Court in Newark, The Montclair Times reported.
According to the article, Judge Peter J. Vazquez asked Ernest Williams, 21, if he reviewed the charges against him, if he understood the charges, and if his lawyer, John McMahon, reviewed his rights. In each case, Williams responded "yes, I do."
Vazquez told Williams that the matter will go before a grand jury—most likely not until December—and that his bail will be continued at $750,000.
Williams' arraignment occurred just over a week after Brian Schiavetti of Ridgefield, Connecticut was found shot multiple times in an apartment building on William Street just off Valley Road at 6:40 p.m. on Sunday, July 22.
It remained unclear Tuesday why Schiavetti was in Montclair.
Schiavetti, an honor roll student who graduated from Ridgefield High School in 2009, was due to graduate from the Villanova School of Business in 2013. He was spending this summer working as an intern at Thomson Reuters in Times Square in Manhattan.
The youngest of four siblings, Schiavetti made the dean’s list in college and played lacrosse and football and loved to play water sports.
Schiavetti's murder was the second this year in Montclair. A man was shot and killed on Mission Street in February. There was only one homicide in 2011.
The Montclair Times also confirmed this week that Ernest Williams has been arrested several times in the last two years for drug offenses.
When asked about the matter, Montclair Det. Lt. Angel L. Roman, Jr. told Patch it "can be frustrating," noting that those in the court system should be asked why Williams hadn't been kept in jail on drug charges.