Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that Sahad Byrd, 23, of Newark pleaded guilty before the Honorable Peter J. Vazquez to aggravated manslaughter for killing his girlfriend, Chiquitah Mayes, 21, also of Newark.
On April 8, 2011 Byrd fatally stabbed Mayes at her grandmother’s Treacy Avenue home in Newark as she was preparing to relocate to South Carolina with her two children.
Byrd was initially charged with murder and weapons offenses. Yesterday, he pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter. Under the terms of a plea agreement, he faces 25 years in New Jersey state prison when he is sentenced by Judge Vazquez. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 27.
Byrd remains incarcerated at the Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark.
“This was an extraordinarily violent crime. We were prepared to take this case to trial but we believe the guilty plea will bring some measure of solace to the family and allow them to move forward,’’ said Assistant Prosecutor Margarita Rivera, who handled the case.