Howell man facing prison sentence

A Howell man pleaded guilty on Sept. 19 to charges related to a fatal motor vehicle collision in June 2013 that took the life of one of his passengers and injured a second passenger, Monmouth County Acting Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced.

Jacob Cannizzaro, 21, of Howell, pleaded guilty to second-degree vehicular homicide, fourth-degree assault by auto and a motor vehicle summons for reckless driving before state Superior Court Judge Francis J. Vernoia, sitting in Freehold.

The collision occurred on Fort Plains Road in Howell at about 11:30 p.m. June 14, 2013, when Cannizzaro was driving a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt and lost control of the vehicle.

A passenger in the rear seat, Mark Chilton, 22, of Freehold, was killed as a result of the collision, and a passenger in the front seat, Angelo Capasso, 21, of Howell, was injured, but survived.

Ajoint investigation by the prosecutor’s office and the Howell Police Department revealed Cannizzaro was speeding, passed another car in a no-passing zone and was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the collision, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Cannizzaro is scheduled for sentencing on Jan. 9 before Vernoia. As part of his plea agreement, Cannizzaro faces a sentence of five years in state prison, subject to the provisions of the No Early Release Act requiring him to serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for release on parole.

He would be under parole supervision for three years following his release from state prison. The plea agreement was made in consultation with and the agreement of the victims’ families, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Cannizzaro is currently free on $100,000 bail, as set by Vernoia.