NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A 31-year-old man from Old Bridge who admitted to strangling his mother to death in November 2016 will spend at least the next 21 years behind bars.
On March 27, Frank Polera was sentenced on a charge of aggravated manslaughter in the death of his 61-year-old mother Patricia Polera.
When she died, the victim was employed a customer service supervisor for United Airlines and had three sons, according to an obituary.
"She was an amazing mentor, teacher and most importantly friend," wrote one co-worker on the online obituary. "We were all blessed to have her in our United Airlines Family."
She was born in Queens, raised on Long Island, and also lived in Bayonne and Hazlet before settling down in the Matawan section of Old Bridge.
Under a plea agreement reached with Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutors Scott Lamountain and Vanessa Craveiro, Frank Polera was set to be sentenced to a prison term of 28 years, according to a statement from the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).
But Superior Court Judge Pedro Jimenez Jr. showed a bit of mercy on the defendant, ultimately sentencing him to only 25 years in state prison for the crime.
Nevertheless, his term in prison is still subject to the "No Early Release Act," which means he will have to serve 85% of it before becoming eligible for parole.
Patricia Polera was pronounced dead shortly before 9pm on November 26, 2016 after police arrived at the home she shared with her son on Kirschman Drive in Old Bridge.
Frank Polera was arrested and charged following an investigation by Detective Addie Spinola of the Old Bridge Police Department and MCPO Detective Joseph Chesseri.
An autopsy conducted by the Middlesex County Medical Examiner’s Office showed that Patricia Polera died from "asphyxiation by compression."
The tragic incident was one of several domestic violence killings to take place in the county in recent years.
As we reported, a couple from Bayonne's relationship ended with a fatal stabbing inside a vehicle located in Woodbridge back in July 2016. The woman was recently sentenced to fifteen years in prison by the same judge.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate and a community organizer, and was an independent candidate for Mayor of New Brunswick in 2018.