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Prosecutor: Brick Murder Victim Was Beaten to Death by His Son, Friend

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Mark Richard Austin (left) and Jeray Melton. (Photo: OCPO)
Mark Richard Austin (left) and Jeray Melton. (Photo: OCPO)

Prosecutors in Ocean County have charged two men in the death of Mark Richard Austin, the 55-year-old Acorn Drive resident who was the victim of a homicide last weekend.

One of the two men charged, Mark J. Austin, 28, of Brick, is the victim’s son, prosecutors said. He and Jeray Melton, 27, of Salem City, allegedly beat the man to death, Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer said in a statement issued late Friday night.

“The victim, Mr. Austin, suffered serious injuries from a savage beating that caused his death,” Billhimer said. “This investigation was very complex and the detectives in our Major Crime Unit and in the Brick Township Police Department did an amazing job of following leads and putting this case together.”

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The younger Austin and Melton are both charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and unlawful possession of a weapon. Both were lodged in the Ocean County Jail Friday night pending a detention hearing.

A slew of law enforcement agencies were involved in the investigation, authorities said, including: the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech and Economic Crime Units, Brick Township Police Department, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Salem County Prosecutor’s Office, Salem City Police Department,  Salem County Prosecutor’s Office, New Jersey State Police Major Crime Unit, New Jersey State Police TEAMS Unit, New Jersey Department of Corrections, Port Authority Police of New York and New Jersey, Manchester Township Police Department, Millville Police Department, Bayonne Police Department and The Federal Bureau of Investigation.