NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Four men charged in the fatal carjacking of a young lawyer outside an upscale New Jersey mall last year have pleaded not guilty to felony murder and other charges.
The suspects entered their pleas Wednesday during brief hearings in state Superior Court in Essex County.
Hanif Thompson, of Irvington, and Newark residents Karif Ford, Basim Henry and Kevin Roberts are accused in the Dec. 15 carjacking and killing of Dustin Friedland outside The Mall at Short Hills.
Authorities have said Friedland, a 30-year-old lawyer from Hoboken, was killed while returning to his car in the mall parking garage with his wife, Jamie Schare Friedland. The carjackers confronted the couple and Friedland was shot in the head, but his wife was unharmed.
Authorities have not said which defendant allegedly fired the fatal shots.
The assailants drove off in the couple's silver Range Rover, which was found the next morning in Newark, about 10 miles from Short Hills. Prosecutors have said the couple was targeted solely because of the make of their vehicle.
Jamie Schare Friedland filed a wrongful death lawsuit earlier this year, seeking unspecified damages. The suit claims the mall owners reduced security to increase profits and first responders mishandled a call for help, allegations those parties deny.