Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino announced today that an Essex County jury has convicted Nicole Guyette, 20, of Newark of aggravated manslaughter for the death of 18-year-old Sujeiti Ocasio also of Newark.
The jury also found Guyette guilty of two weapons offenses and the simple assault of Jasmine Perez, who was 15 at the time of the crime. Perez was shot in the collar bone but survived her injuries.
Hours after attending a party celebrating her graduation from Barringer High School, Ocasio was fatally shot by Guyette just after midnight on June 27, 2008.
The confrontation between the two young women, who were neighbors on Lincoln Avenue, started when Ocasio called Guyette a name. Angered by the insult, Guyette went back to her home and retrieved a gun, came back onto the street and waited for Ocasio to approach her. When Ocasio came up to her, Guyette shot her in the neck.
Acting Prosecutor Laurino commended Assistant Prosecutor William Neafsey, who tried the case, along with Assistant Prosecutor Erica Liu.
“This is a very sad case. It is the most senseless case I’ve come across,’’ said Neafsey, adding Sujeiti Ocasio was killed over petty name calling.
The Honorable Torkwase Sekou, J.S.C., scheduled sentencing for Nov. 16. When Guyette is sentenced she faces up to 30 years in state prison on the aggravated manslaughter, six months for the simple assault and up to 20 years for the weapons offenses.