A Lakewood man accused in the gruesome murder of his mother has pleaded guilty to the crime, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Brian Cassidy, 43, admitted to killing Gail Conway, 61, who also lived in Lakewood, Al Della Fave, spokesman for the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office said.
The investigation into Conway’s death began June 25, 2013, after co-workers at the Toms River CVS store where she worked called police to ask that they check on her after she didn’t report to work and was not answering her phone. The officers who responded to the 8 a.m. call found Conway deceased, lying in her bed in her Sumac Court home, bloodied and the obvious victim of a homicide, authorities said.
Reportedly, Cassidy used an ax and a carpet cutting knife to kill Conway.
A break in the case quickly came when detectives processing the scene saw a burgundy Nissan Sentra with a New Jersey registration parked unoccupied in the driveway of the residence. A check of the registration showed that it belonged to Conway’s son, Cassidy, then age 41, who they later learned also lived at the residence. Further investigation found that the victim’s vehicle, a 2013 Honda Civic, was missing, Della Fave said.
At approximately 5:29 p.m. the same day, Lakewood Police Detective Jason Pederson spotted the victim’s vehicle traveling on Lakewood-Allenwood Road in Howell Township. The vehicle then turned into Deerwood Park and pulled into a parking space near the park’s hockey rink. A white male, who Pederson identified as Cassidy, exited the car and began to walk a dog near the wood line of the park. Pederson kept a visual on Cassidy until additional units arrived, at which point Cassidy was taken into custody without incident and transported back to the Lakewood Police Department.
With Cassidy in custody and a medical examiner’s report citing death due to head trauma, Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office and the Lakewood Police Department were able to piece together events that led to Gail Conway’s death and confirm Cassidy’s role in the murder.
Sentencing in the case is scheduled for Nov. 5. Cassidy has remained in the Ocean County Jail since his arrest in lieu of $1 million bail.
Ocean County Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Michelle Armstrong is prosecuting the case; public defender Dawn Marie Nee is representing Cassidy.