A Seaside Heights man suspected of stabbing a Brick resident in the back in the parking lot of the township’s ShopRite supermarket has pleaded guilty and will remain behind bars pending sentencing.
Michael Stallworth, 35, of Seaside Heights, pled guilty to aggravated assault on Monday before Superior Court Judge Lisa A. Puglisi in connection with the stabbing, which occurred July 26, 2021. At the time of his sentencing, set for Feb. 24, 2023, the state will be recommending a term of seven years New Jersey state prison.
According to prosecutors, the incident occurred at approximately 4 p.m. on the date in question. Brick police officers responded to the parking lot of the ShopRite on Route 70 after a report of a male victim having been stabbed in the parking lot was called in. Responding officers found a 44-year-old male victim with “apparent stab wounds to his back,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
The victim, who was not named, was transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune where he was treated for his injuries and released.
Local and county investigators ultimately identified Stallworth as the individual who stabbed the victim and caused his injuries, prosecutors said. Within hours, a warrant was issued for Stallworth’s arrest. Originally a fugitive from justice, Stallworth surrendered himself to the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Warrants Division on Aug. 29, 2021, and has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail ever since.