FUROR OVER RULING FOR KID-SLAY TEEN
Samuel Manzie, 19, sexually assaulted and strangled 11 year old Eddie Werner on September 27th, 1997. Eddie knocked at Manzie's door in Jackson Township, selling candy for a school fund raiser. Manzie, then 15 and deeply disturbed because he was sexually involved with a 45 year old pedophile from Long Island, raped Werner, then strangled him with an electrical cord. He then stuffed his body in a suitcase and hid it in a wooded lot next to his home, only yards away from the Werner home. Manzie is serving a 70 year sentence for the murder. He appeared in court November 13, 1999, to defend the man who pleaded guilty to molesting him before the slaying. At Stephen P. Simmons' sentencing, Manzie said that the 45 year old Simmons, had been a positive male role model. He said he had cooperated in the investigation of his former lover only because the police hounded him and his psychiatrist told him he would be arrested if he did not. Simmons is charged with criminal sexual contact and endangering the welfare of a child. Judge Michael D. Farren of State Superior Court sentenced him to the maximum term, five years. Now, the heartsick parents of Eddie, are furious at the news their son's killer may walk free much sooner than they thought. The New Jersey Supreme Court by a 3-3 vote yesterday deadlocked on whether Manzie should be eligible for early parole. That forced a controversial lower-court ruling to stand that allows him to be eligible for the early parole, which could put him back on the street in 26 years, at age 45, rather than when he turns 74.