This morning, we reported that the son of U.S. District Judge Esther Salas was murdered at their home in North Brunswick, New Jersey last night – but there’s been further developments this evening when Real Housewives of New Jersey stars Joe and Teresa Giudice spoke out about their connection to the case.
What Happened to Judge Salas?
To recap, here’s what went down at the Judge’s house:
- According to reports, around 5 PM a man dressed as a FedEx worker (who it was initially reported was not known whether he was actually a FedEx worker or not) rang their doorbell.
- When this happened, Judge Salas was in the basement.
- The man dressed as the FedEx worker shot Judge Salas’s son, killing him.
- The man also shot Judge Salas’s husband. Her husband was rushed to Robert Wood University Medical Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey. When he arrived, he underwent surgery and is currently said to be in stable condition.
- After the FedEx worker (or man dressed as a FedEx worker) shot them, he fled the scene. While there initially was an FBI manhunt for him, it was reported today that the suspect was found dead and had killed himself.
- Then, this afternoon, news broke on NBC New York that they believe the suspect to be Roy Den Hollander, an attorney who they note is “a notoriously anti-feminist men’s rights attorney.” The report goes on to note that in one of the books he wrote, Hollander called out Judge Salas as “lazy and incompetent.” He had appeared before her as a lawyer in a lawsuit regarding the all-male military draft.
- While a specific motive is unknown at this time, NBC New York’s report also notes that police are trying to see if a gun found on a property where they found Hollander dead matches the gun used to murder Judge Salas’s son.
- Interestingly, the report also notes that “authorities” are trying to figure out if Hollander is also connected to the death of a men’s rights activist in California.
Teresa Giudice Has Something To Say
As we had mentioned in our initial reporting surrounding the tragedy, Judge Salas has presided over many famous cases during her time on the bench. One of the biggest ones was inarguably the sentencing of Real Housewives of New Jersey stars Teresa and Joe Giudice.
In fact, it was Judge Salas who ultimately made the decision to send both Teresa and Joe away to serve prison time. As fans recall, Teresa ended up serving first, having spent 11 months in prison. Then, Joe served 36 months in prison, eventually being deported to his native country of Italy.
Earlier today, Teresa’s attorney James Leonard Jr. released the following statement to USA Today: “Teresa was very shaken by the news and was very emotional when she heard about it. She told me that would be praying very heavily for Judge Salas and her family. This is absolutely devastating.”
Leonard also spoke to People, adding that “She called me this morning at 6:30 a.m. and asked if there was any update and I told her I had read online that the son had passed away. She was very emotional when she heard that.”
Joe Giudice Wants To Make One Thing Clear
We spoke exclusively to Joe about the horrific tragedy, and he wants to make one thing clear before people start trying to stir the pot- while he feels for Judge Salas, he does not want any finger-pointing in his or Teresa’s direction that they may have had involvement with this horrific crime.
“I feel like it was very unfair how the judge treated me and my wife,” he began with sharing, reflecting on the day of their sentencing. “She did not want to listen to anything we had to say, but my heart goes out to her and her family because I do believe that nobody should ever go through what she’s going through right now- especially losing a child. My condolences are with her and her family.”
“At the same time,” he added, making himself very clear “I don’t want anyone to think that my Teresa nor I had anything to do with it.”
“She did treat us unfairly,” he reiterated, “though we moved on and we went forward.”