Woman refuses to plead guilty in murder of Indian American drug dealer

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Raquel Garajau, 21, of Tinton Falls, New Jersey, has rejected a plea deal and has chosen to stand trial for the murder of Indian American Trupal Patel, 29, of Brick, New Jersey.

According to a Patch.com report, Garajau and her boyfriend, Joseph C. Villani, 21, of Ocean Township, New Jersey, were indicted in May 2017 on charges of robbing and killing Patel, whose body was found on February 22, 2017, in Shark River Park.

Patel had been reported missing 10 days prior to when he was shot to death and dumped into the river by Villani.

Patel’s blood was then found in Villani’s garage and he was arrested three days after the incident while Garajau was arrested on May 15, 2017, after the indictment accused her of participating in the murder, authorities said.

According to authorities, Garajau and Villani were allegedly planning to meet up with Patel, who was a marijuana dealer, so they rob him of marijuana and money.

The Brookdale Community College student rejected to plead guilty with a 10-year prison sentence, and instead chose to face trial with the possibility of a 125-year sentence.

Her trial is currently scheduled for July 17.