Man sentenced to 20 years for aggravated manslaughter

Khalil Harris

NEWARK, NJ — Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II announced March 19 that Khalil Harris, 52, of Newark, was sentenced to 20 years in New Jersey State Prison for fatally shooting Curtis Thomas, 42, also of Newark.

In February, Harris was about to go on trial for the Aug. 31, 2016, murder when he entered into to a plea agreement. Harris and Thomas had gotten into an altercation outside an after-hours club in the 500 block of South 11th Street in Newark. The fight moved to Belgium Street where Harris pulled a gun and shot Thomas.

Under the No Early Release Act, Harris must serve 17 years of the 20-year sentence before he is eligible for parole.

First Assistant Prosecutor Romesh Sukhdeo, who handled the case, said, “This case is a clear indication that there are too many guns on the streets of Essex County. A 20-year sentence will result in the defendant being eligible for parole at the age of 67; hopefully this sentence will give the victim’s family a degree of closure.”