Two people face murder charges after the victim of a brutal February hammer attack succumbed to his injuries.
Richard Portee, 54, of Bridgeton, was attacked on Feb. 16 on Laurel Street in Bridgeton. He died of his injuries earlier this month, according to the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office.
Claudio Lopez, 38, and Taralyn Buckner, 42, both of Giles Street, Bridgeton, were previously charged in the assault, but saw their charges upgraded once Portee died.
Lopez is accused of hitting Portee in the head multiple times with a hammer, “causing serious brain trauma directly resulting in his death,” according to his criminal complaint.
Investigators obtained video surveillance that shows the assault, according to the affidavit of probable cause.
Buckner is accused of “motivating” Lopez to strike Portee with the hammer.
Prosecutors have not revealed the reason behind the attack.
Buckner is also accused of calling police after the attack to report that Portee had attacked her with a knife.
She later admitted that she had lied about Portee attacking her, and said she was present when Lopez attacked Portee, according to the probable cause statement.
Lopez and Buckner remain in Cumberland County Jail.
Anyone with information related to the case may contact prosecutor’s office Sgt. Brian McManus at 856-453-0486, ext. 13613.