†††††††††††††††††† †††† Middlesex County Prosecutorís Office

††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††† 25 Kirkpatrick Street, 3rd Floor, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 08901 (732) 745-3300


††††††††††††††††††††††† †††† *News Release*†††††††††††††††† Date: July 2, 2012








Plainfield man and woman charged with fatal beating



Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan and Chief James Parker of the South Plainfield Police Department announced that two individuals, both from Plainfield, were charged Sunday, July 1, 2012 with the fatal beating of 53 year old South Plainfield resident William Koonz, Jr.


On Friday, June 29, 2012, at 11:07 am, South Plainfield Police responded to a request from a family member for a welfare check at 124 Merchants Avenue. After making entry into the residence, police discovered the body of William Koonz, Jr.An autopsy performed by the Middlesex County Medical Examinerís Office, on Saturday, June 30, 2012, determined that Koonz died of blunt force trauma to the head and was a victim of homicide. Koonz was employed through a family business, Wilpat Irrigation.


The investigation, conducted by members of the South Plainfield Police Department and the Middlesex County Prosecutorís Office, resulted in the arrests of two individuals.

On July 1, 2012, James R. Thomas (DOB 5/11/75) and Shelley A. Thomas (DOB 3/4/59), both of Plainfield, were charged with Murder in the June 28, 2012 death of William Koonz, Jr.


James Thomas was arrested and charged at the South Plainfield Police Department and Shelley Thomas was arrested and charged at a residence in Plainfield.James Thomas is the son of Shelley Thomas. He is the self-employed owner/operator of In Scrap We Trust, a metal salvage business. Bail for each was set at two million dollars.It should be noted that James Thomas and William Koonz were prior acquaintances and Koonz was not the victim of a random act.The motive is still under investigation.


Also assisting with the investigation were members of the Plainfield Police Department and the New Jersey State Police.


Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Gary Cassio of the South Plainfield Police Department at (908) 755-0700, or Investigator Jeffrey Temple of the Middlesex County Prosecutorís Office at (732) 745-3373.


As this is an ongoing investigation there is no additional information available at this time.


As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against all defendants are merely accusations and they are presumed innocent until proven guilty.