PATERSON, N.J. -- A judge in Paterson conducted a teleconferenced first court appearance Friday for a 38-year-old Ringwood man charged with killing his ex-girlfriend with a shotgun blast through a glass door.
Clinton J. Degroat appeared on a large screen before Superior Court Judge John F. Meola from the Passaic County Jail.A public defender entered a not-guilty on Degroat's behalf to murder and weapons offenses, among other counts, in the alleged killing of Nicole Sierra, also 38, just before midnight Thursday.Meola set a March 15 date for his next court appearance.
Degroat, who had a previous dating relationship with Sierra, went to her Van Dunk Lane home late Thursday, Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes and Ringwood Police Chief Joseph J. Walker previously said.
Following an argument with "a male visitor" there, they said, Degroat "left the home and returned with a shotgun."
Degroat then fired "through the glass door of her house," they alleged.
A shotgun was recovered nearby and Degroat was arrested, the chief and prosecutor added.