Restraining Order Fails to Protect NJ Woman From Murder-Suicide

NJ Advance Media for
NJ Advance Media for


Last week, 22-year-old Anishalee Cortes was killed in a murder-suicide in Newark, New Jersey. Cortes had obtained a restraining order against her would-be killer back on April 8th after he broke into her home and held her at gunpoint.

The man, 49-year-old Dominick Richards, was arrested the same day Cortes made the report. At the time of his arrest, Richards was found with a Glock in his possession.

According to court records, Richards was charged with aggravated assault with a firearm, unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and criminal restraint risking serious bodily injury to the victim and criminal trespassing.

On April 10th an Essex County judge denied prosecutors request for Richards to be held in jail. Instead, the judge released Richards on the condition that he promised he wouldn’t commit any further crimes.

The judge also required Richards to report to Pretrial Services weekly via phone and in person bi-weekly. He was also required to refrain from possessing alcohol or firearms and attend all court proceedings.

“Working with our partners at the Newark Police Department, we did everything legally possible to protect Ms. Cortes, including filing for the detention of her abuser, assisting the victim to obtain a restraining order, and preparing her case for a grand jury hearing,” Acting First Assistant Prosecutor Robert Laurino said in a statement. “We will continue to tirelessly advocate for all victims of crime that we serve.”