Home>Governor>Murphy, Callahan oppose release of woman whose false carjacking claim led to death of State Trooper

New Jersey State Police Superintendent Col. Pat Callahan. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Murphy, Callahan oppose release of woman whose false carjacking claim led to death of State Trooper

‘When I hear her name … my head boils,’ Murphy says

By Nikita Biryukov, June 25 2020 2:32 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy and the State Police Superintendent Col. Pat Callahan oppose the release of a woman whose false police report led to the death of New Jersey State Trooper Marc Castellano.

“I will speak as a citizen as well as, in part, as governor: I have no sympathy for Ms. Hoffman. She committed a heinous crime,” Murphy said. “That trooper — that I signed a law in his name and in his memory — is a hero, and he lost his life because of her.”

Castellano was killed on June 6, 2010, while searching for an alleged gunman Diana Hoffman claimed carjacked her. The trooper was struck by a passing motorist while standing on the side of Interstate 195.

“June 6th marked the 10th anniversary of Marc Castellano’s death. The first call I made that Saturday morning was to his mother Donna. And to this day, 10 plus years later, it hurts as much as it did 10 ago,” Callahan said. “So … I do not support her release in any way, shape or form.”

Hoffman, 40, is on a list of more than two dozen inmates who may be released from prison on a medical furlough meant to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the state’s prisons.

The New Jersey Globe has learned that Hoffman meets the medical furlough program’s objective criteria, but her position on the list does not guarantee her release.

The executive order Murphy signed in April created the Emergency Medical Review Committee, which, along with Department of Corrections Commissioner Marcus Hicks, is responsible for reviewing the furlough list and issuing recommendations.

As part of the process, prosecutors and victims’ families may give testimony on a prospective release.

“I have to say, when I hear her name and I think of the life that was lost as a result of this, my head boils,” Murphy said. “And I’ve got nothing else more constructive to say on it.”

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