33-year-old May Die in Prison After Murdering Woman on NJ Politician’s Property
A convicted murderer has been sentenced to 60 years in prison for stabbing a woman to death during a party at a sprawling estate of a former U.S. Senator.
Brandon Petersen, of Newton, must serve at least 51 years before becoming eligible for parole, for the 2020 killing of 38-year-old Michele Carkhuff, also of Newton.
In May, after a three-week trial, a Hunterdon County jury found the 33-year-old Petersen guilty of first-degree murder, as well as weapons offenses.
🔴 Stabbing at Torricelli property in Hunterdon County
On December 6, 2020, around 9:13 p.m., police in Delaware Township responded to a report of a stabbing victim at a home on Kingwood Stockton Road.
During the investigation and trial, prosecutors said that drugs had been taken before Petersen stabbed the victim with a kitchen knife while they were preparing food together.
Petersen fled the 12-acre property owned by former U.S. Sen. Robert Torricelli, who was living in Florida at the time, before officers arrived.
Petersen was arrested the following morning in Upper Black Eddy, Pennsylvania.
🔴 'Senseless murder' of 38-year-old NJ mother of two
Carkhuff was taken by a friend to a hospital in Mercer County where she was pronounced dead.
She was survived by two daughters, a young granddaughter and her own mother, NJ.com previously said.
“This is an unspeakably tragic case and senseless murder, which has left Michelle Carkuff’s family without what should have been years to build memories for a lifetime,” Hunterdon County Prosecutor Renée Robeson said in a written statement.
Robeson continued “Her family consistently attended every day of the trial and shared with the Court the depth of the loss they suffered.”
🔴 Return to prison for career criminal
Petersen already had been in and out of prison since he was 15 — when he nearly killed a woman, also by stabbing the victim.
After a 13-year term, he was arrested again in 2016 for cocaine possession, and arrested again after serving a year.
At the time of his December 2020 arrest he had been out of prison since August 2019.