N.J. Judge Whose Son Was Killed Handled Cases Involving Teresa Giudice, Jeffrey Epstein
Judge Esther Salas' 20-year-old son Daniel was fatally shot on Sunday
The federal judge whose son was fatally shot and whose husband was injured at their New Jersey home on Sunday has been involved with several high-profile cases during her career.
Judge Esther Salas has presided over some of New Jersey's most covered cases in recent years, including Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice and her husband Joe's 2014 sentencing for mail, wire and bankruptcy fraud.
On Sunday, Daniel Anderl, the 20-year-old son of Salas, was fatally shot while his father, attorney Mark Anderl, was injured during the shooting in the family's North Brunswick Township home. Salas was in the home's basement at the time of the shooting.
On Monday, law enforcement sources said the suspect, who was allegedly dressed as a FedEx driver, died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to CNN, ABC, and the New Jersey Globe. He has not been publicly identified.
In 2014, Salas staggered the Guidices' sentences so one of them could be home to care for their four children while the other served time.
“For a moment I thought about probation,” Salas said. “I don’t honestly believe you understand or respect the law. I need to send a message. In the eye of the law, it doesn’t matter who you are. There are consequences to pay.”
Years later, in 2018, she sentenced Farad Roland, the leader of the South Side Cartel, a Newark street gang, to 45 years in prison as part of a racketeering conspiracy, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
More recently, on Thursday, Salas, who was nominated to the U.S. District Court for New Jersey in 2010 by then-President Barack Obama, was assigned to preside over an ongoing class action lawsuit against Deutsche Bank filed by investors who accuse the bank of failing to monitor "customers that the Bank itself deemed to be high risk" including, Jeffrey Epstein, CNN reports.
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The motive for the shooting is currently unknown, and authorities did not know of any threats made against the judge. The FBI is handling the investigation.
One of Salas' neighbors, Marion Costanza, said the confrontation happened at about 5 p.m., according to The New York Times. Costanza spoke highly of the family, mentioning that Salas has previously expressed worries about being in danger because of her job.
"She had some high-profile cases, and she was always a little concerned," Costanza said, adding of the family, "There’s no one like them. They’re extremely good-natured. They would do anything for anyone."
Anyone with relevant information on the case should call the FBI's Newark office at 1-973-792-3000.