By Terence McGinley
NEWARK N.J. (Reuters) - Four men accused of slaying a lawyer in front of his wife during a 2013 carjacking at an upscale New Jersey mall pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to murder and illegal weapons possession.
The men, all of whom are convicted felons and two of whom appeared in prison jumpsuits, entered their pleas to charges returned by a grand jury in Essex County Superior Court in Newark.
The grand jury charged each man with six counts of murder and a single count of illegally possessing a weapon as a convicted felon.
They are accused of shooting Hoboken attorney Dustin Friedland, 30, on Dec. 15, 2013, as he helped his wife load holiday shopping bags into their silver Range Rover, which the men are accused of stealing.
Days later authorities arrested Karif Ford, 31, Basim Henry, 32, and Kevin Roberts, 33, all of Newark and Hanif Thompson, 29, of Irvington.
They were arraigned separately and in handcuffs before Judge Ronald Wigler. Each man is being held on $2 million bail.
After the shooting on the parking deck of the Mall at Short Hills in Millburn, New Jersey, about 21 miles (33 km) west of New York, the couple's luxury SUV was recovered in nearby Newark.
(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and James Dalgleish)