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Man sentenced to 25 years in slaying after fender-bender

October 12, 2019

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison in a slaying that prosecutors said followed a fender-bender accident in New Jersey last year.

Twenty-eight-year-old Jerome Bearfield of Newark pleaded guilty earlier to aggravated manslaughter and a weapons charge in the death of 51-year-old Basil Howard in East Orange.

NJ.com reports that he must serve 85 percent of the prison term imposed Friday in Essex County.

Prosecutors said Bearfield was driving home from his mother’s birthday party in May 2018 when his car was struck, and he got out and shot Howard, a father of two.

Assistant Prosecutor Adam Wells called the victim “innocent and unsuspecting” and said “It’s hard to imagine a more senseless and unprovoked act of violence.”