Somerville man charged with Maryrose Fealey murder enters not guilty plea

The Somerville man accused of stabbing Maryrose Fealey to death last Tuesday night pleaded not guilty Tuesday afternoon in his first appearance before a judge.

In a court appearance that lasted less than a minute, Public Defender Emma Pallarino entered the not guilty plea for David C. Shroitman, 27.

Shroitman sat quietly on a chair in a room separate from the other defendants scheduled for a virtual first appearance before Judge Maureen Vella.

He was wearing a light green jail jumpsuit, his hands crossed in front of him between his legs. One time he got up from the chair, but was asked to sit down again by one of the two guards in the room.

Schroitman is also scheduled to have a Friday detention hearing before Superior Court Judge Jonathan Romankow. At that hearing, the judge will decide whether Shroitman will be denied bail and ordered to remain in the Somerset County Jail until his case goes to trial.

Under New Jersey's Bail Reform Act, prosecutors have the opportunity to convince a judge that a defendant poses a significant risk to the community and should be held in jail with no chance for pretrial release.

Maryrose Fealey was found stabbed to death outside her family's home in Somerville Tuesday night. She was 27.
Maryrose Fealey was found stabbed to death outside her family's home in Somerville Tuesday night. She was 27.

Shroitman is charged with first-degree murder, third-degree possession of a weapon, fourth-degree tampering with physical evidence and third-degree hindering investigation.

Shroitman , who grew up in Branchburg, graduated with Fealey from Somerville High School in 2014. He later graduated from Raritan Valley Community College in 2017.

More: Community mourns Somerville woman who was 'a light in the room'

Shroitman was arrested Sunday night at his apartment in Brookside Gardens on Brookside Avenue following an intensive investigation by the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office and the Somerville Police Department.

Authorities say he knew Fealey but have not disclosed a motive for the killing outside her North Bridge Street townhouse shortly after 10 p.m. Jan. 30.

Shroitman was arrested after authorities received a warrant and searched his home.

He was developed as a suspect after authorities reviewed surveillance video from the neighborhood and interviews with witnesses.

Published reports say that inside his apartment, authorities found a "manifesto" outlining the attack.


Mike Deak is a reporter for To get unlimited access to his articles on Somerset and Hunterdon counties, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

This article originally appeared on Maryrose Fealey murder suspect David Shroitman enters not guilty plea