NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – A former Rutgers University varsity football player admitted his role in a series of armed robberies and home invasions, authorities announced on Jan. 8.
Tejay Johnson, 26, of Egg Harbor, will spend 15 years behind bars as part of a plea agreement, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey said in a statement.
He pleaded guilty to an array of robbery and burglary charges during a Jan. 3 hearing before Superior Court Judge Dennis Nieves, Carey said.
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An Egg Harbor High School 2010 graduate, Johnson was initially looking at 151 years in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.
In 2015, Johnson was one of 15 former Rutgers students who were charged as part of an investigation into three armed robberies and an assault which unfolded in New Brunswick and Piscataway.
Seven of those defendants, including Johnson, were members of the Rutgers University football team.
The case rocked the landscape at Rutgers University, contributing to the firing of football coach Kyle Flood and forcing the resignation of athletic Julie Hermann in the fall 2015.
Many of those suspects are in various stages of their trials, including Lloyd Terry of Wrightstown and Jamil Pollard of Woodbury.
The former Scarlet Knight targeted the victims, all students, for drugs and cash, Carey said. Under the terms of the agreement, he’ll have to serve 85 percent of his term at a state prison before he can be released on parole.
Following the deal, prosecutor’ dropped the assault charges stemming from a scuffle on Delafield Street on April 25, 2015.
The day after the fight, on April 26, Johnson and two other men put on masked disguises and forced their way into a home on Prosper Street in New Brunswick.
While armed, the three men robbed five students of cash and marijuana, Carey said.
Then, on April 27, Johnson and two other men forced their way into a Hartwell Street home in New Brunswick, Carey said. Armed with a bat and a knife, Johnson and one of the men robbed a student of marijuana and $900.
One of the other suspects, former Rutgers football player Andre Boggs of Coatesville, PA, faces an array of charges in connection with that incident.
A week later on May 5, Johnson and Boggs tried to break into a dorm room on the Rutgers University Livingston Campus in Piscataway, Carey said.
But the student was able to close and lock the door, prompting the two suspects to flee. Three other men were found to have been involved with planning and carrying out the attempted robbery.
Johnson’s sentencing is scheduled to be handed down by Superior Court Judge Dennis Nieves on March 16.
Editor Daniel J. Munoz, email@example.com; twitter.com/DanielMunoz100