Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that Omar Bridges, 32, of East Orange was found guilty by an Essex County jury. Bridges was found guilty of attempted murder, aggravated assault, receiving stolen property and multiple weapons offenses.
In a separate proceeding, Bridges was also found guilty of being a convicted felon carrying a weapon. Assistant Prosecutor Brian Matthews tried the case before the Honorable Joseph Cassini, J.S.C. When Bridges is sentenced on June 25, he faces up to 70 years in state prison. h.
Bridges was originally convicted and sentenced to 50 years on the same charges in 2007 but the verdict and sentence were overturned by the Appellate Division in February 2010.
The crime occurred on October 9, 2004. Newark police officers Eduardo Patinho and Kimberly Gasavage happened upon an early morning drive-by shooting while on patrol. A car chase ensued. Bridges was a passenger in the car, which became inoperable during the chase. Witnesses reported that Bridges fired at the officers from the car. Officer Patinho was shot in the shoulder and jaw while Officer Gasavage was unharmed.
“This defendant brazenly fled from law enforcement and when he discovered he was trapped he opened fire on two police officers. That kind of lawlessness cannot be tolerated. When he is sentenced we will seek the maximum sentence,’’ said Assistant Prosecutor Matthews.
Bridges remains incarcerated at the Essex County Correctional Facility. He had been incarcerated on $350,000 bail. His bail was revoked after the guilty verdict was returned.