FRANKLIN PARK., N.J. – Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor and Franklin Township Public Safety Director Quovella M. Spruill announced the arrests of Todd C. Smith, age 30, of Truman Drive, Edison, New Jersey and Tayyab A. Ware, age 30, of Meadowbrook Drive, Augusta, Georgia in relation to the shooting death of Denny Sanchez, age 34 of Franklin Township, NJ.
Prosecutor Robertson stated that on Monday, November 2, 2020, at approximately 8:41 p.m., Franklin Township Police responded to numerous 9-1-1 calls reporting a shooting victim inside of a Barber shop located on Hamilton Street, Somerset Section of Franklin Township, New Jersey. Responding Officers located a male victim suffering from a gunshot wound inside of the establishment. Franklin Township Police Officers immediately began to administer lifesaving measures along with responding emergency medical personnel. The victim, whom authorities have identified as Denny Sanchez, age 34, from Franklin Park, New Jersey was transported to an area trauma center where he was subsequently pronounced deceased.
Prosecutor Robertson stated detectives from the Franklin Township Police Department, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, and the Crime Scene Investigations Unit, responded to conduct the investigation. An autopsy performed by the Northern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Sanchez’s death a homicide.
A two month homicide investigation was conducted by the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit and the Franklin Township Police Department. As part of this investigation, numerous interviews were conducted as well as follow up investigation.
Prosecutor Robertson stated that as a result of this investigation on Tuesday, December 22, 2020, at approximately 1:25 p.m. Todd Smith was apprehended without incident by detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit and the Franklin Township Police Department after being observed in a shopping area in Clark, New Jersey. At the time of his arrest, defendant Smith was found to be in possession of a firearm. Defendant Smith has been charged with 1st degree, Murder, 1st degree Robbery, 2nd degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose and 2nd degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon. Defendant Smith was lodged in the Somerset County Jail where he will remain pending a detention hearing in this matter.
Prosecutor Robertson stated that as a result of this investigation detectives assigned to the homicide investigation travelled to Augusta, Georgia. On Wednesday, December 30, 2020, at approximately 7:50 a.m. Tayyab Ware was apprehended without incident at a residence in Augusta, Georgia by members of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigations Atlanta Field Office. Defendant Ware has been charged with 1st degree, Murder, 1st degree Robbery, and 2nd degree, Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose. Defendant Ware is currently lodged in Richmond County Jail where he will remain lodged pending extradition to New Jersey.
Prosecutor Robertson would like to thank all of the investigators assigned to the investigation to include members of the Richmond County Georgia Sheriff’s Office, members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Atlanta Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigations Newark Field Office and the United States Secret Service for their assistance in this investigation.
Prosecutor Robertson, Chief Fodor and Director Spruill request anyone with information relating to this homicide to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100 or the Franklin Township Police Department at (732) 873-5533 or via the STOPit app. The STOPit app allows citizens to provide anonymous reports including videos and photos. STOPit can be downloaded to your smart phone for free at the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, access code: SOMERSETNJ. Information can also be provided through the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477). All anonymous STOPit reports and Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.
Note: We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.