Jesse Timmendequas

From Academic Kids

Jesse Timmendequas (born April 15, 1961) was, on May 30, 1997, convicted of murdering his neighbor in 1994, seven-year-old Megan Kanka. The murder led to the New Jersey Legislature passing "Megan's Law", which requires notification when a previously convicted sex offender moves into a neighborhood.

In 1979, Timmendequas had pled guilty to the attempted aggravated sexual assault of a 5-year-old girl in Piscataway, New Jersey. He was given a suspended sentence, but, failing to go to counseling, he spent 9 months at the Middlesex Adult Correctional Center. In 1981, he pled guilty in regards to the sexual assault of a 7-year-old girl and was imprisoned, at Avenel, for 6 years.

Conviction

Evidence including blood stains, hair, and fiber samples, found outside Timmendequas' home, as well as a bite mark matching Kanka's teeth, on Timmendequas' hand, let to Timmendequas being found guilty of kidnapping, four counts of aggravated sexual assault and two counts of felony murder. Prosecutors argued that Timmendequas lured the girl into his house, across the street from hers, offering to show her a puppy. Megan soon found that there was no puppy. After raping her, he slammed her head onto a dresser, put a plastic bag over her head, and strangled her with a belt. He raped her post-mortem after putting her in his car after he drove off. He then stuck her body into a toy box and left it in a nearby county park. A day later, he had led police to the body in the park.

Republican Representative Dick Zimmer stated, "I believe he is exactly the kind of predator that the legislature had in mind when it enacted the death penalty."

Defense

Timmendequas' defense maintained he was coerced, by police, into confessing. The defense further argued that Timmendequas' roommates, also convicted sex offenders, were involved in the slaying. The three men had met at the Avenel Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center.

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