Man sentenced to 15 years for killing retired school teacher

NEWARK, NJ — Bruce Hay, 52, of Newark, was sentenced to 15 years in New Jersey State Prison for killing 85-year-old Annie King, a retired Newark school teacher, according to a Nov. 8 press release from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.

According to Assistant Prosecutor Jason Alterbaum, who tried the case, on July 19, 2017, King was found by her grandson in her home in Newark. She was transported to University Hospital suffering from severe injuries to her head. On July 31, she died from those injuries. The cause of death was blunt impact injuries to the head.

Hay, who was known to the family, was tried for King’s murder. The state alleged that he kicked in the door and tried to take King’s pocketbook. When she resisted, he assaulted her, causing the fatal injuries. The testimony at trial indicated he had stolen from the victim in the past.

On May 20, he was found guilty of robbery, burglary and theft but the jury acquitted him of the more serious charges and were deadlocked on others. On Sept. 16, Hay entered a guilty plea to reckless manslaughter.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, the state had recommended a 17-year sentence. On Nov. 8, Superior Court Judge Siobhan Teare sentenced Hay to 15 years in New Jersey State Prison. He must serve 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.

Hay had 60 prior arrests mostly for disorderly persons and drug offenses. He has two prior felony convictions.