Four plead not guilty in fatal New Jersey mall carjacking

Story highlights

  • Incident occurred last month in a mall parking lot
  • The victim was shopping with his wife before Christmas
  • Four plead not guilty
Four men charged in the fatal carjacking of an attorney outside a New Jersey mall entered not guilty pleas Wednesday.
The men are accused of killing Dustin Friedman in view of his wife in a parking deck at The Mall at Short Hills last month.
Hanif Thompson, Karif Ford, Basim Henry and Kevin Roberts were arraigned on charges of murder, felony murder, carjacking, conspiracy, possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose. Their public defenders entered the not-guilty pleas on their behalf.
The judge continued their bail at $2 million each.
The incident occurred on December 15 as Friedland walked with his wife to their 2012 silver Range Rover, according to police.
Friedland was walking behind the vehicle after opening his wife's door and helping her get in when he was confronted, authorities said. A struggle ensued, authorities believe, and shots were fired.
His wife heard the struggle and got out of the SUV, and two attackers got in the vehicle and drove off. She was not injured.
Friedland was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
The crime appears to have been motivated by the desire for that particular type of vehicle, according to Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray.
All four men are currently being held at the Essex County Jail. If found guilty, they could face a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.