NEW BRUNSWICK - The man accused in the beating death of a Kean University student visiting New Brunswick was in court for the first time Wednesday.
Timothy Puskas, 38, of New Brunswick, pleaded not guilty in the vicious attack that killed William McCaw, whose body was discovered in the snow behind a house on Hartwell Street last month.
McCaw, a former Rutgers student, was in the area to see friends. "He was going from place to place, having a good time, enjoying his weekend, when he came upon the defendant," says Assistant Prosecutor Sheree Pitch. "When he came upon him, his weekend ended."
READ MORE: New Jersey Crime Stories
Puskas was out on bail for a fatal 2012 hit-and-run when he allegedly killed McCaw. Puskas was arrested again last week for allegedly attacking his roommate, which eventually led investigators to charge him in McCaw's death.
The arrest comes as a relief to a community where most of the residents are Rutgers students.
"I'm just glad the guy got caught honestly," says Rutgers junior Jeff Contino. "I mean, it's nice realizing that it's a little bit safer."
Rutgers junior Charles Owl agrees. "It's just something that the community has been pretty distraught about," he says.
McCaw grew up in Hillsborough but moved with his family to Tennessee several years ago. He returned to New Jersey to attend college.
Puskas is being held in the Middlesex County Jail on $5 million bail. He could ask for reduced bail at a future court date.