An Eatontown man was found guilty Thursday by a Monmouth County jury of the 2009 death of an 82-year-old Neptune Township woman, announced Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
After a six-week trial, a jury of six men and six women found Vincent Laing, 30, of Eatontown, guilty Thursdayof second degree Vehicular Homicide and third-degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance in connection with the 2009 death of 82-year-old Inge Polly, of Neptune Township. The jury rendered its verdict to Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Francis J. Vernoia, P.J.Cr., after nearly two days of deliberation.
Following the verdict, Judge Vernoia ordered Laing be held without bail at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution, Freehold Township, where Laing will remain until his sentencing on June 27, 2014.
The charges arose from a two-car crash involving Vincent Laing and Inge Polly, occurring shortly after 5:30 p.m. on June 24, 2009, at the intersection of State Highway 33 and Wayside Road in Neptune Township. Both vehicles sustained heavy front end damage as the result of a head-on collision. Ms. Polly died at the scene, and Laing was transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center, where he was treated for a dislocated hip, and a broken wrist.
The cooperative investigation by the Neptune Township Police Department, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Serious Collision Analysis Response Team (SCART), revealed Laing was traveling eastbound on Highway 33 when the 2009 Honda Accord he was operating crossed over the double yellow lines colliding head-on with the 2005 Ford Focus driven by Ms. Polly in the westbound lane. She was killed instantly. Witnesses described how Laing failed to negotiate a slight bend in the roadway, causing his vehicle to cross over three lanes of highway, and drive directly into Ms. Polly’s lane of travel.
Laboratory blood analysis revealed Laing had several medications in his system, including oxycodone and alprazolam (Xanax). Laing had a prescription for the oxycodone, but his consumption of the alprazolam was illegal. Expert testimony and toxicological reports presented during the trial established that the levels of medications in his blood rendered Laing too impaired to drive.
Second degree Vehicular Homicide carries a maximum penalty of ten years in a New Jersey state prison, subject to the provisions of the "No Early Release Act" (NERA) requiring him to serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for release on parole. Third degree Possession of a CDS carries a maximum of five years in a state prison. Due to his prior criminal history, Laing is eligible to be sentenced to an extended-term as a persistent offender increasing his exposure to 20 years in prison, subject to NERA.
In a separate case, Vincent Laing is also being detained in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution on a $500,000 cash only bail, as set by Judge Vernoia on November 26, 2013, after Laing was arrested by detectives from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office on charges of first-degree Leader of a Narcotics Trafficking Network, second-degree Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Dangerous Substances, third degree Possession of Controlled Dangerous Substances, second-degree Possession of Controlled Dangerous Substances With the Intent to Distribute, second-degree Distribution of Controlled Dangerous Substances, third-degree Conspiracy to Commit Financial Facilitation of Criminal Activity, and third-degree Financial Facilitation of Criminal Activity.
Those charges were a continuation of an existing narcotics distribution investigation, leading to his arrest on March 15, 2013 for second-degree Possession of Controlled Dangerous Substances with Intent to Distribute, and third-degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance. Laing posted $100,000 bail on the same day of his March 2013 arrest and was released. Laing also posted $7,500 with 10 percent bail on the same date of a June 2, 2013 arrest out of Tinton Falls, for three counts of third-degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance. The narcotics charges all remain pending in Monmouth County Superior Court.
The vehicular homicide case was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutors Stacy Handler and Diane Aifer. Allison Tucker, Esq., and Victoria Caracciolo, both of Freehold, represented Laing.