Nanny cam verdict: Attacker not guilty of attempted murder, could still face life in prison
A Newark man was acquitted of attempted murder but could still face life in prison after being convicted Wednesday on several other charges after he brutally assaulted two women during a home invasion in 2013 that was caught on a nanny camera.
A grand jury has convicted Shawn Custis, 45, of Newark of of aggravated assault, criminal restraint, burglary, robbery, theft and endangering the welfare of a child in connection with the June 21, 2013 attacks, authorities announced Wednesday. Following a six-week trial and two hours of deliberation, however, Custis was acquitted of attempted murder.
When Custis returns to court for sentencing on June 29, Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray said he could still face life in prison on the other charges.
According to the Essex County prosecutor's Office, the home invasion leading to the arrest of Custis took place on June 21, 2013. Authorities say Custis broke into the home of a Millburn woman.
During the invasion, he assaulted the woman and stole several pieces of jewelry including her husband's watch, her wedding rings, a cell phone and a baby monitor. Police say he then proceeded to brutally assault the woman, kicking and punching her before throwing her down the basement stairs as her 3-year-old daughter watched from the living room sofa.
Authorities also say the woman's 18-month-old son was asleep in an upstairs bedroom during the assault, which was captured on a nanny camera in the home.
According to authorities, four woman, including two former girlfriends of Custis, identified him as the attacker.
"What stood out in the video was the use of his left hand and the way he walks. Custis has a bad leg and walks with an unusual gait," the Prosecutor's Office said in a statement.
Authorities credit the women who identified Custis with coming forward to help with an identification.
"This verdict was only made possible by the brave citizens who identified the defendant on the nanny cam and helped law enforcement deliver him to justice," Semper said.
The assistant prosecutor said he plans to seek the maximum prison sentence for Custis due to previous convictions for burglary, theft and a prior home invasion. Custis had also been convicted of crimes in Mercer, Middlesex, Union and Burlington counties, according to authorities.
According to the Prosecutor's Office, the victim was in the courtroom Wednesday. Custis was also present in the courthouse, but officials say he refused to be present in the courtroom when the jury handed down its verdict.
Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.