NEWARK, NJ — Jerome Bearfield, 28, of Newark, pleaded guilty to first-degree aggravated manslaughter and second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon before Judge Ronald D. Wigler, according to an Aug. 23 press release from acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore Stephens II.
According to Assistant Prosecutor Adam Wells, who is handling the case, Bearfield fatally shot Basil Howard, 50, of East Orange, on May 5, 2018. Following a traffic accident in which Howard rear-ended Bearfield, Bearfield exited his car with a .38 revolver and fire shots at Howard, ultimately killing him. Bearfield did not have a license to carry a gun.
“Mr. Howard is another innocent victim of senseless gun violence. I hope this resolution will give closure to his family,” Wells said.
Bearfield is facing 25 years pursuant to the No Early Release Act. He is scheduled for sentencing on Oct. 4.