Ocean Co. man convicted of harassing, shooting man

TUCKERTON, NJ — A Tuckerton man was sentenced to New Jersey State Prison for assaulting and harassing a Little Egg Harbor man in 2021, the Ocean County District Attorney’s Office said.

Donald Rutter, 53, was sentenced to five years in prison for his guilty plea to aggravated assault, Ocean County District Attorney Bradley D. Billhimer said. This sentence is subject to the No Early Release Act, which means Rutter must serve at least 85% of his sentence before being considered for parole eligibility.

Rutter was also sentenced to 18 months in prison for his guilty plea to stalking, Billhimer said. These sentences must be carried out simultaneously, he said. Additionally, a permanent harassment restraining order was executed barring Rutter from contacting the victim, Thomas Jarvis, 55, of Little Egg Harbor, Billhimer said.

On January 5, 2021 at around 7:30 p.m., Rutter shot Jarvis in his abdomen, Billhimer said.

Rutter fled after the shooting and a warrant was issued for his arrest, Billhimer said. Ocean County District Attorney’s Office Major Crimes Unit, Ocean County District Attorney’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department, Ocean County District Attorney’s Office Regional SWAT Team, Police of the State of New Jersey, New Jersey State Park Police, United States Marshals Service, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office and the Tuckerton Police Department were unable to immediately locate Rutter.

Jarvis was taken to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, where he was treated and eventually released, Billhimer said.

On Jan. 28, 2021, the United States Marshals Service tracked Rutter to Atlantic City, and he has been in the Ocean County Jail ever since, Billhimer said.

Billhimer acknowledged the diligent efforts of Senior Assistant District Attorney Meghan O’Neill and Assistant District Attorney Kaitlyn Burke who handled the case on behalf of the state, as well as the County Attorney’s Office Major Crimes Unit. of Ocean, Ocean County District Attorney’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department, Ocean County District Attorney’s Office Regional SWAT Team, State Police New Jersey State Park Police, United States Marshals Service, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit and Tuckerton Police Department, for their combined and collaborative efforts in this investigation that resulted in Rutter’s arrest, guilty pleas, and now his state prison sentence.