Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that Henry Milstrey, 46, pleaded guilty to assaulting Robert Kevin Waters, president of the Newark Little League, during a game on June 8, 2011.
Following a two week trial and two days of jury deliberations, Milstrey informed the Honorable Thomas M. Moore, the judge presiding over the trial, he wanted to enter a guilty plea.
Waters, 51, also of Newark, was serving as an umpire at a game in Vailsburg Park between Newark and Irvington when he was assaulted by Milstrey after the game because Waters refused to call the game on account of darkness. During the fight, Milstrey called for backup and approximately 16 men assaulted Waters.
Waters suffered a concussion due to a fractured skull, a broken orbital bone and loss his front teeth during the attack, according to Assistant Prosecutor Gregg Brown, who tried the case.
He still suffers for a hearing loss and numbness one side of his face.
“Passions often run high during sporting events but participants cannot attack the umpire, whether you agree with his decisions or not. In this case, a friendly Little League game for kids turned violent for no apparent reason,’’ said Assistant Prosecutor Brown. “That kind of conduct cannot be condoned.’’
Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 12 before Judge Moore. If he had been convicted by a jury, Milstrey would have faced up to 10 years in person. By entering a guilty plea, there is a presumption of non-incarceration.