New Jersey

NJ Man Convicted of Killing Family in New Year's Eve Quadruple Murder as Teenager

The 20-year-old who killed three members of his own family and another woman on New Year's Eve 2017 could be sentenced to four life sentences in prison

A New Jersey man was convicted on murder and weapons charges Thursday in the grisly New Year's Eve shooting deaths of his parents, sister and a family friend when he was 16, prosecutors said.

Following a two-week trial, Scott Kologi, now 20, was found guilty on all counts surrounding the shootings deaths of four people with a high-powered rifle in his family's Long Branch home on Dec. 31, 2017. He faced four counts of first-degree murder and a second-degree weapons offense.

Kologi shot and killed his 42-year-old father Steven and 44-year-old mother Linda, as well as his 18-year-old sister, Brittany, and his grandfather's companion, 70-year-old Mary Schulz, just before midnight. Authorities say the defendant's brother and grandfather and another friend were in the house at the time of the shooting but escaped unharmed.

Kologi was arrested at the scene, where a semi-automatic rifle used in the shooting was also recovered. He had previously entered a not guilty plea and was initially charged as a juvenile, but the case was later moved to adult court.

"The jury’s verdict confirms that Scott Kologi was responsible for his decisions and actions on the night that culminated with him killing four members of his family,” Acting Prosecutor Lori Linskey said. “This trial hinged on issues of mental health and the responsibility of this defendant ... In recognizing the criminality of the defendant’s actions, we also recognize that this is a tragedy for all of the family members who are left to mourn this tremendous loss."

Authorities haven't disclosed a possible motive for the slayings.

Defense attorneys sought previously to have Kologi transferred to a psychiatric facility, but a judge ordered him to remain behind bars as he stood trial. They have said Kologi's mental health issues included a history of hallucinations, autism and "distorted thinking."

Sentencing was scheduled for June 30, when Kologi could be sentenced to four life sentences in prison.

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