On November 1, 2019, the Honorable Mitzy Galis-Menendez, P.J.S.C. sentenced Jose Morel, age 61, of Jersey City, to 40 years in state prison for murdering his wife in October 2017. He was also sentenced to 10 years for endangering the welfare of a child. The Court ordered the sentence for endangering the welfare of a child to be serviced consecutive to the murder sentence.
The murder sentence is subject to the No Early Release Act which requires Morel to serve 85 percent of his 40 year sentence before he is eligible for parole. The sentence for endangering the welfare of a child is for a flat 10 years.
In June 2019, Morel was found guilty of murdering his wife, 38-year-old Milagros Rodriguez de Morel in Jersey City on October 18, 2017. Judge Galis-Menendez presided over the bench trial in which she found the defendant guilty of Murder, Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, and Endangering the Welfare of a Child.
At trial, the evidence established that the defendant murdered his wife in their Jersey City home and that the victim’s son was present in the residence during the incident. The victim suffered from multiple stab wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene. The defendant was acquitted on two aggravated assault charges related to his son.
The state was represented by Assistant Prosecutor Leonardo Rinaldi from the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Unit.