Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that an Essex County jury convicted Jamar Holmes, 32, of West Orange for the murder of Donald Andrews, 40, of East Orange.
After approximately 90 minutes of deliberation, the jury found Holmes guilty of murder, unlawful possession of a weapon, and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
Jurors watched a video tape showing the inside of Bush Liquors & Deli on Tremont Avenue in Newark on January 1, 2011. The video shows Andrews inside the store, reaching into the refrigerator to select an item for purchase when Holmes walks into the store, raises a 6-inch butcher’s knife over the bending Andrews, and plunges the knife into Andrews’ back.
The victim and defendant were known to one another and had quarreled earlier on the night of the killing, according to witnesses. It is unclear what the argument was about, however.
“I want to thank the jury for ensuring that justice was served on behalf of Mr. Andrews’ family,” said Assistant Prosecutor Naazneen Khan, who tried the case before the Honorable Peter J. Vazquez, J.S.C.
“This was a senseless, brutal murder,” said Assistant Prosecutor Jason Hollingsworth, who tried the case with Assistant Prosecutor Khan.
Holmes is scheduled to be sentenced on October 23, 2012. He faces a minimum of 30 years in New Jersey State Prison.