A man from Tuckerton has been sentenced in connection to a shooting at a boat dealership in Little Egg Harbor Township early last year.

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer says 53-year-old Donald Rutter has been sentenced to five years in state prison after he previously pleaded guilty to aggravated assault. Rutter was also sentenced to 18 months on a stalking charge. Both sentences will run concurrently.

Additionally, a judge issued a permanent stalking restraining order barring Rutter from having any contact with the victim, 55-year-old Thomas Jarvis of Little Egg Harbor.

On the evening of January 5, 2021, Little Egg Harbor Township Police were called to Jarvis Marine on Radio Road after they received a 9-1-1 call. Responding officers found 55-year-old Thomas Jarvis of Little Egg Harbor with a gunshot wound to his midsection. He was treated at a local hospital and eventually released.

Jarvis Marine on Radio Road in Little Egg Harbor NJ - Photo: Google Maps
Jarvis Marine on Radio Road in Little Egg Harbor NJ - Photo: Google Maps

An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office determined that Rutter shot Jarvis.

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On January 28th, Rutter, after eluding police by sleeping under the boardwalk, was located in Atlantic City and taken into custody without incident by the United States Marshals Service. He has been held in the Ocean County Jail since then.

Love triangle

According to an affidavit filed by investigators in Ocean County, Rutter blamed Jarvis for the breakup of his marriage.

Two weeks before the shooting, Rutter was told by his wife that she "no longer wanted to be with him as a result of his drinking," the affidavit says.

Jarvis told police that when he arrived at his business, he saw Rutter who smiled and pointed a gun at him. Jarvis was shot before he could jump for cover.

The complaint and affidavit in the case do not confirm whether Jarvis was in any relationship with Rutter's wife.

With prior reporting from Townsquare Media's Dan Alexander.

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