Newark man charged in corrections officer’s death

NEWARK, NJ — Dashawn Walton, 24, of Newark, has been charged with first-degree aggravated manslaughter for causing the death of Omar Martin, a veteran corrections officer at Northern State Prison, according to an Aug. 30 press release from acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore Stephens II and Newark Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose.

On Aug. 24, at approximately 2:30 a.m., an officer from the Hillside Police Department attempted to stop a Nissan Altima, allegedly being driven by Walton, who sped away at a high rate of speed. The officer followed him. Walton allegedly went the wrong way on Aldine Street, a one-way street.

The officer activated his lights and Walton allegedly continued to travel on Aldine into the city of Newark, colliding with Martin at the intersection on Bragaw Avenue in Newark. The Nissan struck the Ford Mustang driven by Martin, pushing the vehicle into a utility pole and causing fatal injuries.

Martin, who was not involved with the pursuit, was pronounced dead at the scene. Martin, 49, was a resident of Newark.

In addition to aggravated manslaughter, Walton is also charged with second-degree eluding, third-degree causing a death while in a motor vehicle collision while driving without a license, and second-degree vehicular homicide.

These charges are accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless or until he either pleads guilty or is found guilty in a court of law.