Lawyer Suspected of Killing Judge's Son Found Dead

'There's a pretty good level of confidence he's the guy'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2020 12:46 PM CDT
Updated Jul 20, 2020 3:33 PM CDT
Suspect in Killing of Judge's Son Found Dead
Crime scene tape surrounds the home of US District Judge Esther Salas, Monday, July 20, 2020, in North Brunswick, NJ.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

A man suspected of killing the son of a New Jersey federal judge and seriously injuring her husband in a Sunday afternoon shooting has been found dead from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound, law enforcement officials say. A law enforcement source tells the New York Times the body of a lawyer suspected in the shooting was found in Liberty, New York, Monday morning. It's not clear whether the lawyer was involved in any of the cases that US District Judge Esther Salas or her husband, defense lawyer Mark Anderl, worked on. A second source tells the Times that investigators looking into the lawyer's death found a package addressed to Salas. "There's a pretty good level of confidence he's the guy," the source says. More:

  • The shooting. Police say the suspect is believed to have posed as a FedEx driver to carry out the shooting at Salas' North Brunswick home, USA Today reports. Daniel Anderl, 20, was shot dead after opening the door; he was the couple's only child and a rising junior at Catholic University of America. His father was critically injured.

  • No other suspects sought. The US Marshals Service and the FBI say the suspect is believed to have acted alone, reports the AP. Officials say the suspect's body was found around a 2-hour drive from the judge's home.
  • Motive a mystery. Law enforcement officials tell CNN that they are not aware of any threats made against Salas, who was assigned Thursday to handle a class-action suit against Deutsche Bank from investors who say the bank failed to properly monitor Jeffrey Epstein's transactions.
  • Her other cases. Salas, 51, was nominated to the US District Court for New Jersey in 2010 and became the first Hispanic woman to serve as a federal judge in the state. In her most high-profile case, she sentenced married Real Housewives of New Jersey stars Teresa and Giuseppe Giudice to prison in 2014, per the AP. She has also dealt with drug trafficking cases involving the Grape Street Crips gang.
  • Other cases. The Bridgewater Courier News reports that one of the longest-running cases before Salas was brought in 2015 by a woman who said her rights were violated when she wasn't allowed to register for the draft on her 18th birthday. Salas also recently ruled against a taco restaurant in a trademark case and rejected a request from Turkish authorities for a state resident's financial records.
  • "He had so much promise." "It's surreal," Carlos Salas, an older brother of the judge, tells the Times of Daniel Anderl's death. "He was a vibrant, young, good-looking man. He had so much promise.” Salas says Anderl had hoped to pursue a legal career of his own. In a 2018 interview, the judge joked that her son had "been arguing with us since he could talk, practicing his advocacy skills."
  • Mark Anderl. The 63-year-old, who served as an assistant prosecutor before entering private practice, was hospitalized in critical condition with gunshot wounds Sunday, reports. North Brunswick Mayor Francis "Mac" Womack later said he was in stable condition after surgery.
  • Senator speaks out. New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez denounced the "horrendous act" Sunday night and called for a swift arrest to be made, the Washington Post reports. "I know Judge Salas and her husband well and was proud to recommend her to President Obama for nomination to New Jersey’s federal bench,” he said in a statement. "My prayers are with Judge Salas and her family."
(More New Jersey stories.)

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