Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that an Essex County jury convicted Richard Smith, 39, of Newark of the murder of Charles David Mathis, 24, also of Newark. Smith was also convicted of two weapons charges.
Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer Handley said the murder occurred on Dec. 18, 2006 at the St. John’s Masonic Lodge located at 428 Central Avenue in East Orange.
The two men got into an altercation outside the bathroom at approximately 3:25 am. Mathis was fatally stabbed in the chest and neck. He was taken to UMDNJ Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 4:10 am. The motive for the murder was never determined.
“Even though the murder occurred in 2006, we relentlessly pursued justice in this case.
And, today the jury has rendered a verdict that is consistent with the facts of the case’’ said Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer Handley.
The trial started on Feb. 14. The jury deliberated approximately four hours before finding Smith guilty on all counts.
Sentencing is scheduled for April 29 before the Honorable Paul Vichness, J.S.C. When Smith is sentenced he faces 30 years to life.
Bail had been set at $400,000 but the judge revoked Smith’s bail following the verdict.