Tashan Gonzalez, who entered a guilty plea in October to aggravated manslaughter in connection with the 2009 shooting death of a 46-year-old Egg Harbor Township man, was sentenced to 18 years in prison, Atlantic County Prosecutor Ted Housel announced.
Gonzalez, 19, of Wellington Avenue in Pleasantville, must serve 15 years, three months and 18 days, or 85 percent of the prison term, before parole eligibility, for killing Michael Maina Jr., on Feb. 9, 2009. Gonzalez admitted at his plea that he threatened the victim with a gun while the defendant was selling drugs on Alder Avenue in Pleasantville. The defendant said when he raised the gun to Maina, the gun accidentally discharged. Maina died of a gunshot wound to the head.
At 5:30 p.m. the night of the shooting, Pleasantville Police received a 911 call indicating that a man was shot in the 400 Block of Alder Avenue. When police arrived, they discovered Maina in the driver’s seat of a sport utility vehicle bleeding profusely. He was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office charged Gonzalez with homicide two days after the killing, according to Assistant Prosecutor Anne Crater.
Gonzalez addressed the court. He said he was sorry and asked for the family’s forgiveness.
“We appreciate the defense’s comments, but the defendant has not shown remorse until today,” Assistant Prosecutor Crater said.