What to Know
- Prosecutors said Basim Henry was among four men involved in the December 2013 carjacking at The Mall At Short Hills
- Dustin Friedland, a young attorney in Hoboken, was shot and killed in the parking lot in front of his wife just 10 days before Christmas
- Henry served as the getaway driver, prosecutors have said; the other three suspects charged in the case await trial
The first of four men accused in a young attorney's death during a carjacking at The Mall at Short Hills three years ago has been found guilty of felony murder, conspiracy and weapons-related crimes.
Jurors delivered guilty verdicts on all counts Friday after four days of deliberations in the trial of Basim Henry, the South Orange man prosecutors said was one of four involved in the December 2013 carjacking at the high-end mall in Millburn, New Jersey, and served as the getaway driver.
Henry had faced a total of six counts in the death of Dustin Friedland, a 30-year-old Hoboken lawyer killed in front of his wife in the parking lot just 10 days before Christmas. The murder charge carries a sentence of 30 years to life in prison. Henry was on probation at the time of the killing in connection with a 2006 bank robbery conviction, which may affect the penalty.
Henry, wearing a crisp long-sleeved white shirt and cream-colored sweater vest, stood silently as the jury decision was read, lowering his head at various points but otherwise showing no reaction.
Friedland's parents and sister were in the courtroom as the verdict was read. His widow, Jamie Schare Friedland, whose emotional testimony about the ambush captivated the courtroom during the trial, was not present.
Defense lawyer Michael Rubas argued in his closing statement that Henry wasn't responsible for the shooter's actions.
Essex County prosecutors said Henry "knew force was necessary" to get the vehicle.
Friedland's family wasn't commenting on the verdict Friday but Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray thanked them for "their support of the efforts of this office, for their dignity and for their strength to see this process through."
Essex County Assistant Prosecutor Ralph Amarato said of Friedland's widow, "The road she's had to travel, I couldn't imagine being in that situation. She's a very strong young lady, she's handled it as well as anyone could expect. It's a tough road, from her night of being with the last moments with Dustin, to going through this long drawn-out process, I could not imagine that."
Neither side could immediately be reached for comment on the verdict.
The other suspects, Hanif Thompson, of Irvington, and Newark residents Karif Ford and Kevin Roberts have pleaded not guilty to felony murder and other charges in connection with the carjacking. They await trial.