Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that Richard Smith, 39, of East Orange was sentenced to 30 years in New Jersey State Prison for the murder of Charles David Mathis, 24, of Newark.
Mathis was fatally stabbed on Dec. 18, 2006 at St. John’s Masonic Lodge located at 428 Central Ave in East Orange. Both men were attending a Jamaican party at the lodge.
The victim went into a secluded area in the lodge to use the bathroom when Smith stabbed Mathis in the neck and the chest, according to Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer A. Handley who tried the case. The chest wound was fatal.
The case was unsolved until March 2010 when a witness came forward. On March 3, 2011 Smith, who is originally from Jamaica but was living in East Orange at the time of the murder, was convicted of first degree murder, 4th degree unlawful possession of a weapon – a knife, and 3rd degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. Smith must serve a mandatory minimum of 30 years before he is eligible for parole.
“Even though the murder occurred in 2006, we continued to work to solve it. That relentless pursuit of justice ended with a 30-year sentence today,’’ said Assistant Prosecutor Handley. “We hope the outcome will provide a small measure of comfort to his parents.’’