ELIZABETH — It took less than three hours for a jury to return a guilty verdict for the man who killed a 19-year-old and then fled to Vermont.

27-year-old Anthony Reciofigueroa, of Jersey City, was convicted Thursday for the July 6, 2019 shooting of Carlos Rodriguez in Elizabeth. The victim was taken to a hospital in Newark but died the next day.

Nearly two months later, authorities arrested Reciofigueroa in Vermont.

Union County Prosecutor William Daniel said that around 30 minutes before the shooting, Reciofigueroa drove to Elizabeth in a black Chevy Malibu with Vermont license plates. Police then found Rodriguez at 7 p.m. on East Jersey Street suffering from a single gunshot wound.

Street sign for East Jersey Street in Elizabeth, NJ. (Google Maps)
Street sign for East Jersey Street in Elizabeth, NJ. (Google Maps)

Witnesses, video surveillance, and physical evidence all proved Reciofigueroa was responsible, according to prosecutors.

His trial lasted three weeks. Ultimately, Reciofigueroa was found guilty on one count of first-degree murder and two second-degree firearms charges.

Reciofigueroa's connection to Vermont is not clear.

The Barre Montpelier Times Argus, a local newspaper in Barre, Vermont, reported that Reciofigueroa had been arrested by police there for drug and gun charges a week before being charged with Rodriguez's murder. The paper also reported that he had prior convictions in the state for aggravated assault and heroin possession.

Reciofigueroa's criminal record dates back further in the Garden State. He was arrested as an 18-year-old after threatening a woman with a gun, the Hoboken Patch reported in 2013. State records show he pleaded guilty to criminal restraint.

Rick Rickman is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at richard.rickman@townsquaremedia.com

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