Former New Jersey senator’s property was site of fatal stabbing attack: reports

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A New Jersey estate belonging to former U.S. Sen. Robert Torricelli was the site of the stabbing death of a 38-year-old woman earlier this week, according to reports.

The slaying occurred inside one of two single-family homes located on the Democrat’s property in Rosemont, Delaware County, reported.

A 31-year-old suspect identified as Brandon Petersen was arrested Monday in Pennsylvania in connection with the death of Michele Carkhuff, the report said.

Petersen and Carkhuff had been cutting vegetables to make a stew in the kitchen of the home when Petersen allegedly grabbed a large knife and stabbed Carkhuff in the neck, court papers said, according to the news outlet.


Brandon Petersen, 31, has been arrested in connection with a woman's stabbing death, authorities say. (Hunterdon County Prosecutor's Office)

Brandon Petersen, 31, has been arrested in connection with a woman’s stabbing death, authorities say. (Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office)

Petersen allegedly stole a pickup truck to get away from the crime scene while two other people in the house rushed Carkhuff to a local hospital, where she died, the report said.

The truck was registered to Rosemont Associates, a Lambertville lobbying and marketing firm that Torricelli owns, according to the report.


It was unclear if Torricelli was on the property at the time of the attack, the outlet reported, adding that the former senator is known to also own a condominium in Palm Beach, Fla.

Police were tipped to Petersen’s whereabouts in Upper Black Eddy, Pa., when they received a phone call from his girlfriend, court documents said.

Responding officers arrived to find Petersen with blood-like stains on his clothing and he acknowledged having been at the New Jersey property when Carkhuff was stabbed, a police affidavit said.

Former U.S. Sen. Robert Torricelli, D-N.J.

Former U.S. Sen. Robert Torricelli, D-N.J.

Petersen remained in custody in Pennsylvania, awaiting extradition to New Jersey, The Associated Press reported.

The suspect has a history of violent incidents, including a stabbing attack against a 57-year-old neighbor when he was 15, for which he served 11 years of a 13-year prison sentence after taking a plea deal at age 18, the report said.


Torricelli, 69, served in the U.S. Senate from 1997 to 2003, having previously served in the House for 14  years. He ended a bid for reelection to the Senate amid ethics complaints that he had improperly accepted gifts from a campaign donor.

The former senator has not commented on the stabbing, reports said.

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