A moment’s decision will likely see a Piscataway man spend the rest of his life in prison.
Three months after a Middlesex County jury convicted him of murder, Christopher Koller, 41, was sentenced Thursday to 66-1/2 years in prison for pushing Beth Bezek out his third-floor window on Halloween night in 2016, according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.
Police officers responding to Koller’s anonymous 911 call found Bezek, 31, suffering from severe head trauma outside his home in Piscataway early the next morning, authorities said.
At his later trial, prosecutors would produce evidence Koller had forced Bezek out the window while she was visiting him.
A lifelong Raritan resident who graduated from Bridgewater-Raritan High School, she was pronounced dead at the scene at approximately 1:30 a.m. on Nov. 1, police said. Koller was charged the same day in connection with her death.
Koller, whose prior criminal history spans three states, was sentenced in January to three years in prison after pleading guilty to third-degree theft in another case, state records show.
After a trial in March, a jury convicted him of murder hindering his own prosecution and possessing and distributing cocaine.
Prosecutors did not specify a motive for Bezek’s killing in a prior statement announcing the convictions.
Under the state’s No Early Release Act, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement, Koller will have to serve at least 51 years before he’s eligible for parole.
In addition to the 66-1/2 year term for the murder conviction, records show Judge Pedro Jimenez sentenced Koller to consecutive terms of 18 months and five years, respectively, on the hindering and drug charges.