A Newark judge has ruled in Essex County’s highest profile criminal case, giving the family of 30-year old Dustin Friedland, who was shot in front of his wife in the parking lot of The Mall at Short Hills Mall, some closure.
Hanif Thompson, the alleged gunman and carjacker, was sentenced to 30 years in state prison for felony murder. Prosecutors said Friedland was pistol-whipped by Thompson, who subsequently fired a fatal shot into his head.
Kevin Roberts and Karif Ford, alleged participants in the fatal carjacking, were sentenced to 20 years each for their roles in the crime.
All three men accepted plea agreements with the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office avoiding life sentences if convicted at trial.
The getaway driver in the carjacking, Basim Henry, was previously sentenced by Superior Court Judge Michael L. Ravin to life, plus 10 years in prison after a jury convicted him of murder, felony murder, carjacking, conspiracy and weapons offenses in the crime.
Both Roberts and Ford must serve at least 17 years each of their 20-year sentences before they are eligible parole, Ravin said Thursday. Thompson will be ineligible for parole for the duration of his 30-year prison term.