Watchung man faces life in prison for killing teacher in front of police
EAST ORANGE — A Watchung man has been convicted of shooting to death the mother of his child in front of a police officer on a city street.
Andre Higgs, 45, was convicted in the murder of 27-year-old Latrena May as well as other weapons charges. Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino said the jury deliberated for less than two hours before returning the verdicts against Higgs.
The charges came from an incident in May 2015 when May was shot by Higgs while she was getting the attention of a passing officer. May had called police saying Higgs had entered the home, choked her and threw her to the ground while their daughter watched.
Laurino said as the detective was getting out of his marked car, Higgs shot May three times. The officer shot Higgs in the legs when he went back into the house where the 4-year-old girl was sleeping.
Higgs was also convicted of unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and hindering apprehension. Higgs still faces trial on charges of second-degree certain persons not to have a weapon and first-degree unlawful possession of a weapon. He already faces 30 years to life, but he will not be sentenced until the remaining charges are dealt with.
He as five prior felony convictions.
In 1993, he was convicted on charges of unlawful possession of a gun, aggravated assault and a drug offense for which he was sentenced to 10 years in prison. A decade later he was convicted for unlawful possession of a handgun and was sentenced to 226 days in the Essex County Jail and 18 months of probation.
May was a teacher at the Pride Academy Charter School in East Orange.
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