Conviction in 2006 Juan Cuevas murder

Juan "June" Cuevas courtesy of his family

Juan “June” Cuevas courtesy of his family

In May 2019, John Blocker was convicted in the 2006 Juan Cuevas murder for of felony murder, aggravated manslaughter, robbery, burglary and three counts of kidnapping.

Blocker faced first-degree murder but the jury opted for aggravated manslaughter instead. A fingerprint and DNA tied Blocker to the crime scene. This fingerprint matched Blocker in the national databases.

A fingerprint lifted from an orange juice container was the original link to Blocker’s arrest. His DNA was found on a cigarette butt on the kitchen floor and on an orange juice bottle in an upstairs bathroom trashcan, prosecutors said.”

Superior Court Judge Kevin T. Smith scheduled sentencing for July 12, 2019. Blocker faces a potential life sentence without parole.

Case

On January 20, 2006, Juan “June” M. Cuevas, owner of G.I. June Auto Parts, was murdered in Washington Township (New Jersey) by four people who invaded his home.

His wife was not home but his three teenagers were. They were held hostage for several hours while the invaders waited for their father to come home. June was tortured and beaten to death. The invaders fled.

In 2015, the papers reported that John Blocker was arrested facing charges of first-degree murder, first-degree felony, four counts of kidnapping, second-degree robbery and second-degree burglary. Authorities are still looking for the accomplices.

Blocker’s defense team protested that the DNA presence didn’t prove that Blocker was in the Cuevas home at the time of the murder. He could have left his DNA there at any given point in time.

Second, they said that Blocker didn’t resemble the men the Cuevas children described to police as they had seen one without his mask. The prosecution pointed to the stress of having been kidnapped, locked inside their own home, and hearing the torture of their father as reasons why the descriptions were not an exact match with Blocker.

Last, there had been a similar home invasion robbery in the Gloucester Township shortly before the Cuevas murder. “Both sets of perpetrators were black, wore black, had guns, used Nextel phones, they tied up the children in both houses and they specifically targeted drug dealers,” the defense said. The “evidence tied the ringleader in the Gloucester Township case to the Washington Township crime. Specifically, phone records placed his cellphone a few miles from the Cuevas home on the night of the killing.”