Feds Hand Over Suspect to NJ in Short Hills Carjacking
Federal authorities have cleared the way for one of the four men accused in a fatal carjacking at an upscale New Jersey shopping mall to be charged by state authorities.
A hearing was held Monday in federal court in Newark to dismiss a charge against Basim Henry, who was then immediately turned over to New Jersey law enforcement officials to face murder and other charges in the killing of Hoboken lawyer Dustin Friedland.
Henry was arrested during the weekend in Pennsylvania on a charge of unlawful flight from prosecution, a violation of the supervised release he was subject to for a 2006 robbery conviction. He had been released from federal prison on April 29, 2013, after a judge reduced his near 8-year sentence on the bank robbery conviction by about 10 months.
Following the dismissal of the federal unlawful flight charge, Henry was immediately turned over to Essex County authorities to face charges in the fatal carjacking of Friedland, who was shot on Dec. 15 as he returned to his vehicle with his wife after shopping at The Mall at Short Hills.
The Essex County prosecutor's office has said the crime appeared to have been motivated by the model of the vehicle, a silver Range Rover, which was found abandoned the next morning in Newark.
Henry, wearing shackles and an orange prison jumpsuit, did not speak during Monday's hearing. He was represented by court-appointed counsel.
Surveillance video from the crime scene showed a vehicle registered to Henry's mother was used by the carjackers to arrive at the mall, according to court papers. As one or more of carjackers fled in the stolen Range Rover, one of Henry's alleged co-conspirators told authorities that Henry had operated the getaway vehicle. One of Henry's alleged co-conspirators shot the owner of the stolen vehicle in the head in the course of the carjacking, according to court papers.
In addition to Henry, who is 32 and a resident of Newark, 31-year-old Karif Ford and 33-year-old Kevin Roberts, both of Newark, and 29-year-old Hanif Thompson of Irvington have been charged in Friedland's killing.
The four, who are each being held on $2 million, face charges of murder, felony murder, carjacking, conspiracy, possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose.
They were arrested between late Friday and early Saturday. Henry was arrested at a hotel in Easton, Pa. The three others were taken into custody at their residences in New Jersey. It's not known if any of them have retained attorneys ahead of their Jan. 8 arraignments. None has a listed home phone number.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)