BRIDGETON- A Millville man tried to cover up his involvement in a fatal hit-and-run last week by rubbing deer meat on his car, the Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office said Monday.
Robert Eisele, 42, was arraigned in the case Monday afternoon in Superior Court. He is charged with leaving the scene of an accident after causing the death of another person, a second-degree crime. Eisele, who is in county jail on $150,000 bail, faces up to 10 years in prison, if convicted.
Police said Eisele struck and killed Commercial Township resident Edward M. Morrison, 36, around noon Dec. 15 on Silver Run Road near Silver Run Elementary School.
He was alive when found and is believed to have been lying hurt for up to 30 minutes. He died at South Jersey Healthcare Regional Medical Center in Vineland.
Senior Assistant Prosecutor Michael Ostrowski said Eisele's car has been seized and is being processed for evidence. A "tipster" contacted police after seeing the damaged vehicle and that is how investigators learned of the deer meat incident, he said.
Eisele was arrested the day after the accident.
Ostrowski told Judge Benjamin Telsey that more charges were pending. A decision was made earlier Monday to file obstruction of justice and evidence tampering charges, he said.
Ostrowski said Eisele in 1995 received two driving while intoxicated tickets. There is no evidence the defendant was under the influence of alcohol in this case, he said.
Telsey ordered bail to remain at $150,000.
According to Ostrowski, the defendant told police he had struck "something" in the road. There appears to be "transfers" of evidence between the victim's clothes and Eisele's car, he said.
The victim's mother, two sisters and other relatives and friends attended the hearing. Afterward, they met privately with Ostrowski and county Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae.
Rick and Lisa Zeak, the victim's brother-in-law and sister, later spoke for the family.
"This man stole Christmas from my children," Rick Zeak said. "He (Morrison) was a God to my kids."
"I think it's really unfair," Lisa Zeak said. "And I hope he gets what he deserves. Justice needs to be done. We're going to fight."
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