Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino announced today that an Essex County Grand Jury has indicted Rafael Miranda, 31, of Newark for the murder of Vernardo Bermudez Suares.
Suares, 34, of Miami, Florida was killed at 3 a.m. on April 10, 2010 outside the Stadium Sports Bar & Grill in Newark. In addition to murder, the four count indictment also charges Miranda with one count of 4th degree aggravated assault for pointing a handgun at the bouncer and two weapons offenses.
In a separate indictment, Miranda was also charged with possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, a 2nd degree offense.
Assistant Prosecutor William Neafsey, who is handling the case, said the two men got into an argument inside the bar. The argument continued outside where Suares was allegedly fatally shot by Miranda.
At the time of the shooting, Miranda was wanted by the New Jersey Department of Corrections. On Dec. 13, 2009, he escaped from Kintock House North, a privately run halfway house in Newark for inmates who are nearing the end of their state prison term. Miranda walked away from the facility and never returned. Even though a warrant was issued for his arrest, Miranda remained free until the altercation that resulted in the death of Suares.
These are mere accusations. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.