The tragic shooting happened on a Bloomfield street in April 2013. According to officials, the 27-year-old suspect shot and killed a 24-year-old Belleville man in the 500 block of Beardsley Avenue in Bloomfield, NJ.
Witnesses at the scene said that the dispute occurred shortly after the suspect was approached by a number of people who were intoxicated.
Emergency responders arrived at the scene and tried to save the victim, but the victim was pronounced dead within an hour of the shooting.
The suspect eventually reached a plea deal with the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. He then appeared in Essex County Superior Court for a plea hearing and pleaded guilty to reckless manslaughter charges.
During the plea hearing, the suspect’s public defender told the superior court judge that the suspect was “under attack” at the time of the shooting. According to an audio recording of the plea hearing, the suspect’s defense attorney argued that his client’s actions on the night of the shooting were “understandable.”
The Essex County prosecutor spoke at the hearing and said that the suspect acted wrongly in killing an unarmed victim.
As a result of the plea agreement, the suspect will have to serve slightly less than 5 years in New Jersey State Prison. This was a lesser sentence than prosecutors wanted; prosecutors requested that the suspect be sentenced to 7 years in state prison.
When handing down the sentence, the superior court judge said that the suspect does not have any previous criminal convictions.
To learn more about this case, go to NJ.com article entitled “Newark Man Gets 5 Years for ‘Understandable’ Fatal Shooting.”