Plainfield murderer has been found guilty for the second time

Anthony James, a 62-year-old man from Plainfield, has been found guilty of first-degree murder, third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and fourth-degree unlawful possession of a weapon for the death of his girlfriend, Audrey Tanksley, who was stabbed 94 times in the home they shared in 2011.

The verdict was announced by Union County Prosecutor William A. Daniel on Tuesday after a 5-week trial before Union County Superior Court Judge John Deitch.

According to Assistant Prosecutors Alaina Caliendo and Nicholas Hooker, who prosecuted the case, Plainfield police received a 9-1-1 call from James on September 28, 2011, and responded to his home on East Seventh Street where they found the body of 48-year-old Tanksley.

The Plainfield man was found guilty in 2019 and sentenced to 60 years in NJ prison for the 2011 killing of his 48-year-old girlfriend, but that conviction was overturned, and the Appellate Division remanded the matter for a new trial.

An appeals court overturned the conviction and ordered a new trial, saying a Union County prosecutor misstated New Jersey’s law on self-defense and the trial judge compounded the error while instructing jurors.

The jury deliberated for a day and a half before returning a guilty verdict. Sentencing for the case has been scheduled for June 23, 2023, before Judge John Deitch, and James faces a possible sentence of life in state prison.

Union County Prosecutor William A. Daniel said, “This verdict would not have been possible without the hard work of our assistant prosecutors, detectives, and other professionals who worked tirelessly to bring justice to Audrey Tanksley and her loved ones.”

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