Tuckerton man pleads guilty to apparent love triangle shooting

Originally charged with attempted murder, a Tuckerton man pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and criminal harassment in connection with the killing of a boat dealership owner.

Donald Rutter, 53, could face up to seven years in prison when sentenced on July 25.

According to the Ocean County District Attorney’s Office, Rutter shot Thomas Jarvis, 55, at Jarvis Marine in Little Egg Harbor Township on Jan. 5, 2021. When police responded around 7:30 p.m., they found Jarvis with a apparent gunshot wound to his abdomen. .

An investigation determined that Rutter was the individual who shot Jarvis, the prosecutor’s office said. Authorities from multiple agencies failed to locate Rutter following the shooting, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Nearly a month later, Rutter was located in Atlantic City. He had eluded police by living under the boardwalk, authorities said.

Two weeks before the shooting, Rutter was told by his wife that she “didn’t want to be with him anymore because of his drinking,” the affidavit states.

Asked by investigators about a possible motive, Jarvis said Rutter believed he was responsible for the breakdown of his marriage. The complaint and affidavit in the case do not confirm whether the victim was romantically involved with Rutter’s partner.

With previous reporting by Dan Alexander

Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]

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