🔥 Man previously convicted for 2012 killing

🔥 An appellate ruling overturned the conviction

🔥 Prosecutors say he set a woman on fire after beating her

EAST RUTHERFORD — A Wood-Ridge man has been found guilty of murder for a second time in connection with the gruesome killing of a real estate agent 12 years ago.

Daniel Rochat, 48, was convicted on Wednesday in Superior Court of first-degree murder, aggravated arson, desecration of human remains, lying to police, destroying evidence, and false swearing, according to Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella.

The trial lasted for 15 days. His sentencing is scheduled for June 14.

It's not the first time Rochat has been convicted for the Sept. 14, 2012 murder of Barbara Vernieri.

Barbara Vernieri (Kurgan-Bergen Realtors)
Barbara Vernieri (Kurgan-Bergen Realtors)

Appellate ruling overturned NJ man's conviction

According to prosecutors, Rochat went into Vernieri's home in East Rutherford on the day of the killing.

He beat her on her head and face, prosecutors said. After the beating, but while she was still alive, Rochat set her on fire.

Investigators found the home's sitting room had been doused with gasoline, according to court documents.

Rochat was convicted of the real estate agent's murder in June 2017. Court documents said that Rochat's father owned the real estate company where Vernieri worked. She was employed there for 27 years.

SEE ALSO: 'Unimaginable' suffering: NJ couple forced women to work in home

However, an appellate division ruling in January 2022 found that DNA evidence in the case was unreliable. An expert testified that the scientific community had "conflicting views" on whether the type of DNA testing used in the case was acceptable for criminal cases.

Prosecutor Musella said he was grateful to the retired detectives who "nobly" chose to return to testify at Rochat's trial.

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