Jan. 6, 2016
Man Enters Guilty Plea to Eluding Charges
Newark – Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that Freddie Wright, 23, of Newark pled to eluding and other charges yesterday just as his trial was scheduled to begin before the Honorable Martin G. Cronin, Judge of the Superior Court.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, Wright is expected to be sentenced to 12 years in New Jersey State Prison, according to Assistant Prosecutor Joseph A. Giordano, who handled the case. Wright must serve 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.
“This plea reflects the damage this defendant caused not only to those involved in the crash that day, but to hundreds of drivers whose lives he put in jeopardy as a part of his reckless acts,” said Assistant Prosecutor Giordano.
On Aug. 11, 2014 Wright, traveling in a stolen Jeep Cherokee, took police on a chase that began in Newark and ended with a crash in Bernards Township that shut down Route 287 during rush hour. Two people were injured, a civilian and a police officer. A woman, who was eight months pregnant and a passenger in the stolen vehicle, was rushed to the hospital where she gave birth the next day.
The incident started in Newark on 17th Avenue and South 19th Street. State Police attempted to stop the vehicle after running the license plates and finding the Jeep had been reported stolen. During the pursuit, the driver of the Jeep went onto Route 78 West, Route 24 West and 287 South, hitting a minivan and a Bernards Township Police car. According to police reports, the Jeep reached speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour.
Following the crash, the highway was closed in both directions for hours.
Yesterday (Jan. 5, 2016) Wright pled guilty to 2nd degree eluding, 2nd degree aggravated assault while eluding for hitting a civilian victim, 2nd degree aggravated assault while eluding for hitting the Bernards Police Officer and 3rd degree leaving the scene of an accident with injuries for striking a New Jersey State trooper’s vehicle breaking the trooper’s hand.
Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 19 before Judge Cronin.