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Man seeks sentence reduction in 2009 Somerset County murder

| Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, 7:08 a.m.

A Somerset County judge has taken under advisement a request to reduce the sentence of a Friedens man who pleaded guilty to the murder of a New York man found shot in the kitchen of a rural apartment more than three years ago.

Ronald Ziegel Jr., 26, pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and was sentenced by Judge D. Gregory Geary to eight to 30 years in the August 2009 slaying of 29-year-old Bryant Adderly of Brooklyn, N.Y.

State police in Somerset said Ziegel was the getaway driver in the slaying. He admitted he drove the two men who shot Adderly to the apartment near Bakersville and later led police and prosecutors to the murder weapons and other suspects.

On Tuesday, Ziegel asked Geary to merge a previous drug sentence with the third-degree murder term, essentially cutting three years off his remaining prison time.

Prosecutors said they wouldn't object, given his cooperation in the homicide case.

Calvin Mallory, 33, of Brooklyn, N.Y., was convicted last year of first-degree murder for ordering the hit on Adderly and is serving a life term.

Roland Washington, 26, of Michigan, formerly of New Jersey, pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and is serving 7 12 to 30 years. Toriano McCray, 38, of Flint, Mich., pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and is serving a 10- to 30-year sentence.

According to testimony, Mallory headed a drug ring based in New York and New Jersey and Adderly distributed drugs in the Somerset area out of the Trent Road residence. Witnesses said Mallory ordered the killing because he believed Adderly was skimming money off the drug sales.

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