ELIZABETH - An Essex County man accused of killing a mother of two from Rahway has waived his first court appearance.
Roberto Grillo was supposed see a judge to face charges in the murder of Yolanda Vega, but under New Jersey state law a defendant does not necessarily have to appear.
Grillo's public defender, who was assigned to him just minutes before the hearing, told the judge Grillo wouldn't come, and that he didn't know why.
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The judge is giving the attorney and Grillo time to meet, and will reschedule the hearing.
Vega was found strangled in her Beacon Street home in Rahway on Dec. 7. Police say Grillo knew Vega and her family.
Grillo was charged in her murder a little more than a week later. He was already in the Union County jail after he was arrested by Linden police for allegedly trespassing at the Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery on the night of Vega’s murder.
If convicted of the murder, Grillo could face 30 years to life in prison.