Former Rutgers Athlete Pleads Guilty to Armed Burglary, Robbery in Middlesex County


A former player for the Rutgers football team recently pleaded guilty to several charges, including armed robbery and armed burglary, in Middlesex County Superior Court.

According to a news release from the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, 26-year-old Tejay Johnson accepted a plea offer in connection with a series of home invasions and armed robberies that occurred in New Brunswick and Piscataway, NJ. Johnson was reportedly a participant with 14 other former players and students at Rutgers University who committed three armed robberies and one assault.

The incidents, which occurred in 2015, led to seven Rutgers football players arrested and a serious shake-up in the Rutgers football administration. Although Johnson refused the same plea offer last July, he chose to accept it prior to jury selection in his case. The plea agreement requires Johnson to plead guilty to three counts of armed robbery, three counts of armed burglary, and three counts of conspiracy to commit armed robbery. The assault charge will be dismissed.

Per the terms of the plea deal, Johnson admitted to playing a part in the robberies before Middlesex County Superior Court Judge Dennis Nieves last week. He reportedly stated the robberies, some of which involved guns, resulted in the thefts of money and drugs. The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office is recommending a 15-year sentence in New Jersey State Prison.

Considering the severity of the charges, the sentencing recommendation in this case is significantly less than the maximum. For example, a first degree charge for armed robbery is punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment. If a person is facing three counts of armed robbery, they could be required to serve consecutive sentences in connection with each count.

Burglary is considered a slightly less serious offense than robbery in New Jersey. As such, armed burglary is a second degree crime codified in N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2. Nevertheless, a single count of armed burglary may result in up to 10 years in NJ State Prison. Each count of burglary exposes a defendant to the same maximum sentence.

In a case such as this, the prior criminal history (if any), seriousness of the charges, extent of evidence against the person facing a potential conviction, and other factors are weighed during plea negotiations and sentencing.

Defending Burglary & Robbery Cases in New Brunswick, New Jersey

If you or a loved one is arrested for burglary, robbery, or another indictable crime in Middlesex County, NJ, the stakes are very high. With such catastrophic consequences hanging over your head, it is absolutely essential to have an experienced criminal defense attorney negotiating with the prosecutor for the best possible deal or fighting for a dismissal if you choose to take the case to trial. The skilled criminal defense lawyers at William Proetta Criminal Law focus their entire practice on defending individuals accused of crimes in New Jersey. Contact us for a free consultation about your criminal charges at (732) 659-9600 or reach us online.

For additional information related to this case, visit the following: Ex-Rutgers football player cuts deal for 15-year sentence in home invasions

William Proetta

With more than a decade of experience defending clients against criminal charges, founding partner William A. Proetta has successfully handled and tried thousands of cases, from DWI to murder. As a New Jersey native, he has focused his career on helping people in the area where he grew up, serving Middlesex, Ocean, Hudson, and Union counties.