MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. – Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced that a Burlington Township man was sentenced today to 24 years in New Jersey state prison for fatally shooting a convenience store clerk in Willingboro in 2015.
Eramus Canty, 34, must serve 85 percent of the sentence before becoming eligible for parole. Canty pled guilty earlier this year to killing Matthew Mwinsori, age 42, of Willingboro, following a robbery on November 25, 2015 at the Quick N Go convenience store in the 100 block of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
Canty pled guilty before the Hon. Philip E. Haines, J.S.C., to one count of Aggravated Manslaughter (First Degree) through what is known as an open plea, meaning there was no agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office as to a recommended prison term and the length of his sentence was determined by the judge.
Canty admitted that he entered the store to commit a robbery, and at some point Mwinsori chased him into the parking lot, where Canty shot him following a struggle.
“Matthew Mwinsori was so incensed by the defendant’s disregard for the law that he pursued him in an attempt to recover the money that had been stolen at gunpoint,” Prosecutor Coffina said. “His valor cost him his life. Mr. Mwinsori was by all accounts a friendly, honorable man who worked two jobs and sent money back home to his family in Ghana. The defendant, on the other hand, is a greedy predator who has 16 juvenile arrests and was convicted of committing four indictable crimes by age 31, including an armed robbery eerily similar to this one. He deserved the 30-year sentence we argued for and we are disappointed that the court, despite finding a likelihood that the defendant will commit future crimes, handed down a sentence of which he likely will serve just over 20 years. Mr. Mwinsori deserves better.”
Mwinsori was pronounced dead at Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County in Willingboro approximately one hour after being shot. Canty was arrested December 19, 2015 by police officers in Asbury Park, N.J.
The investigation was conducted by the Willingboro Police Department, the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office and the U.S. Marshals Service New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force. The case was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor LaChia Bradshaw. The lead investigators were BCPO Major Crimes Unit Detective Tony Luyber and Willingboro Township Police Detective Jason Galiazzi.