Man Pleads Guilty In Deadly Short Hills Mall Carjacking

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — One of four defendants charged with murder in the carjacking and fatal shooting of a Hoboken attorney at The Mall at Short Hills has pleaded guilty to lesser charges.

Instead of facing a trial, Kevin Roberts agreed to a plea deal with the Essex County Prosecutor in the death of Dustin Friedland with the 39-year-old pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of carjacking.

Friedland, 30, died after he was shot when the men took his Range Rover from a parking garage in December 2013. He was with his wife, Jamie, celebrating an anniversary and shopping.

As CBS2’s Mary Calvi reported, the plea takes the most serious charge of murder off the table.

With Roberts pleading guilty, that leaves two remaining defendants.

Basim Henry, the getaway driver, faced a jury trial earlier this year and was convicted. He was sentenced in June to life plus 10 years in prison.

“I am very happy with the plea deal and with another witness against the other two this will insure they will both be convicted and spend the rest of their lives in jail,” the Friedlands’ attorney Bruce Nagel said.

Friedland’s widow has also filed a lawsuit against the mall’s owners, alleging negligent security at the mall led to her husband’s death.

Her courtroom statements have been gripping.

“It wasn’t just someone’s car, it was someone’s life,” she said.

Roberts is expected to get 20 years behind bars when sentenced in November.

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