ELIZABETH–Abelino Mazariego, the son of the Summit man murdered on July 17 by several area teenagers, appeared in Union County Superior Court on Friday on forgery charges.
Mazariego was charged by Summit police on Sept. 2 with third-degree forgery for allegedly altering a check given as a donation to his family in the wake of his father's death.
The check, originally written for $250, was cashed at Wachovia Bank for $1,250.
It wasn't until the check's author, a woman with the initials B.C., got her account statement and realized the check was cashed for a different amount than when she wrote it that police were notified.
Det. Steve Zagorski said police did a handwriting analysis on the check and determined that a number one and a comma had been added to check's amount.
A friend of Mazariego's who accompanied him to court said the 26-year-old didn't do it.
In court, also speaking through a court-appointed translator, he declined the public defender and said he was hiring his own attorney to fight the charges.
Mazariego's next court appearance is Oct. 21 at 8:30 a.m. before the Hon. John Triarsi.