Woman charged in fire that killed man, 5 dogs


MANCHESTER — A woman has been charged in the death of a township man, who authorities say succumbed to smoke inhalation as a result of a fire that the woman ignited at a neighbor’s home, according to NJ101.5.

Guilty in telephone-chat homicide

John Staten of Orange . The Star-Ledger

A 32-year-old man pleaded guilty on May 16, 2012 to aggravated manslaughter and weapons offenses in the beating death of a Maplewood man he met through a telephone chat service.

By pleading guilty, John Staten, of Orange, avoided the murder charge he had faced, and the accompanying potential life sentence if convicted at trial. Under the terms of the agreement, Staten will receive 18 years in prison when he is sentenced on June 19 in Superior Court in Newark, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office said.

Staten admitted he beat 27-year-old Arthur Downey III with an iron just hours after they met on March 14, 2010, then covered his head with a plastic bag, prosecutors said. The cause of death was bludgeoning and asphyxiation. A roommate discovered Downey’s body the next morning in their Maplewood home.

Stanton Popewiny and the house on the hill

On the morning of Jan. 11, 2008, Stanton Popewiny called police to his grandfather’s home at 38 Woodmere Road in Cedar Grove. The 87-year-old retired psychiatrist, Eugene Hrabarchuck, had fallen in the upstairs bedroom, Popewiny, 24, told the police.