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Dr. Divyendu Sinha Murder Trial (NJ, USA): 2nd Defendant, Julian Daley Pleads Guilty to 1st Degree charge of “Aggravated Manslaughter”

Julian Daley Pleads Guilty to First Degree charge of “Aggravated Manslaughter” in a Plea Bargain Deal
1. As part of the plea bargain, Julian Daley pleaded guilty to the charge of “Aggravated manslaughter”, which is a First degree charge.  The Plea deal recommends a 15 year jail term in a state prison. Without a plea, he could have faced up to 30 years, if convicted. Please see full report below.

If you have not singed the petition for speedy and proper justice for Divyendu Sinha’s family yet, please do so: Click on this link:

<http://www.change.org/petitions/mr-bruce-kaplan-prosecutor-middlesex-county-nj-we-want-justice-for-the-murder-of-dr-divyendu-sinha

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Update-31 February 16, 2013  

 February 16, 2013  

 Dear Supporters of Sinha Family and Community Members:

Namaste. We communicated to you last on November 28, 2012 where we informed you that Steven Contreras, the driver of the car that carried other four defendants in the case of The State of New Jersey Vs. Steven K. Contreras for the murder of Dr. Divyendu Sinha on June 26, 2010 had accepted a plea bargain on November 27 under which he would be sentenced to no more than four years prison term.

Divyendu Sinha

(Dr. Divyendu Sinha 1961-2010: He was beaten to death by four teenagers on the night of June 25, 2010)

Since then, we were waiting for a trial date for the remaining four defendants.  On February 5, there was a conference of attorneys and the assistant prosecutor with the Judge Bradley Ferencz to set the trial date for three of the defendants, i.e., Cash Johnson, Christian Tinli and Christopher Conway.  That date is now set for August 5 of this year. However, based on our experience so far, we would not be surprised if it is pushed to sometime next year!

The prosecution had excluded Julian Daley (JD) from this discussion because it was discussing a plea deal with him. While he could be sentenced to 30 years to life if convicted on First Degree murder charge, prosecutor’s office was not confident of winning the case after the setback in Steven Contreras trial. Assistant Prosecutor, Christopher Kuberiet was ready to offer 15 years jail term to which Mrs. Sinha strenuously objected; ultimately a 20 year jail term was offered.

February 7 was put on calendar to enter Julian Daley’s guilty plea. Since we came to know that the prosecutor had agreed to  a 15 years of jail term instead of 20 years,  Mrs. Sinha wrote a letter to the judge not to accept the plea deal that was worked out between the Assistant Prosecutor and Julian Daley’s attorney, Mr. Mitchell Ansell. (This letter will follow as a separate blog.)

 So, on 7th afternoon we were at the Middlesex Superior Court in the court room of Judge Bradley Ferencz. The judge asked counsels from both sides to state their position.

Mr. Mitchell Ansell said that his client was ready to plead guilty. 

 Julian Daley pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter. He also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, aggravated manslaughter and — in an unrelated case — aiding the burglary of his neighbor’s house in December, 2012.

                                                            

                                                                                                                                                                                               
Julain Daley

                                                                                                               Convicted Criminal Julian Daley

 

Mr. Mitchell Ansell went through a series of questions that he asked Julian Daley as per the standard procedure. 

Atty. Mitchell Ansell

Attorney Mitchell Ansell

Julian Daley answered “Yes” to the following questions:

Were you in the Town of Old Bridge on the night of June 25, 2010?

Did Steven Contreras stop the car?

Did four of you got out of the car?

Did for of you see Sinha family walking on the Fella Drive, Old Bridge?

Did four of you (Julian Daley, Christopher Conway, Christian Tinli and Cash Johnson) ran to the Sinha family and started swinging?

Did you strike Dr. Sinha?

Did you understand that there was a clear possibility of death because of your action?

That your reckless actions caused death of Dr. Sinha?

On June 30, 2010 you gave a statement to the police?

That statement was truthful?

 At this point, Assistant Prosecutor, Christopher Kuberiet asked:

You observed Christopher Conway and Christian Tinli hitting Dr. Sinha?

Julian Daley answered, ‘Yes.’

His attorney, Mitchell Ansell continued asking questions to Julian Daley:

On December 16, 2012 were you under house arrest?

That you could not leave your property without court approval?

That you instructed your friend, Ray to steal from your next door neighbor’s home?

That later this stolen property was found in your possession?

That you understand that by pleading guilty, you are waving your right to a trial?

Julian Daley answered, ‘Yes’ to the above questions.

JD answered in negative when he was asked if he was coerced, threatened, influenced or promised anything other than what was written in the plea deal.

Julian Daley answered “Yes” to following questions by his attorney, Mitchell Ansell:

You understand that:

you will not be paying any restitution but will pay $155 court fee?

you would be sentenced to up to 15 years?

you will spend time in a State prison?

you will serve at least 85% of the sentence because this is a violent crime, before being eligible for parole?

Your bail Is not forfeited?

You are pleading guilty because in fact, you are guilty and not because of any other consideration?

Mr. Ansell further told JD that at the time of sentencing the prosecutor and members of Sinha family will speak.

Before sentencing, the judge will do extensive review of your life; your

education history, health history and family history will be evaluated

before imposing the sentence. He may or may not accept the plea deal. If the judge does not accept the plea deal, then at that time you could withdraw your guilty plea of your free will.

You have to testify truthfully at the trial of remaining three defendants; if you don’t, this plea becomes null and void.

If your plea becomes null and void, you will face up to 45 years in a state prison for all the charges.

Judge Bradley Frencez

Judge Bradley Ferencz of Middlesex County Superior Court, NJ

Now, the Judge, Bradley Ferencz  addressed Julian Daley.

Do you understand that:

the plea is between you, your lawyer and the Prosecutor. The Court is not a party to it?

once the plea is accepted, it is permanent?

you have stated that you have spoken to your lawyer?

that he has answered all your questions?

That he has served you well?

Julian Daley answered, ‘Yes’ to the above questions.

The judge further asked:

Do you understand the form (guilty plea)? Answer : Yes.

Whose signature is on that form? JD: Mine.

You have read and understood the guilty plea and the deal without any pressure?

Your answers are honest and truthful?

You were not threatened or forced to accept the deal and plead guilty?

You are/were not under influence of any drug. Alcohol, medicine that would impair your ability to make a decision?

that the State has asked that you be sentenced to 15 years in a prison?

If I accept the plea, I will sentence you to 15 years?

Julian Daley answered, ‘Yes’ to the above questions.

 The judge further said:

If I do not accept the plea, I will impose a longer sentence; If I do not accept the plea, I will let you know. You can withdraw your guilty plea and ask for a trial and whatever you said today cannot be used against you in the trial.

If you do not cooperate with the prosecution (as a part of the plea bargain), the plea stands, that is, you remain guilty and you cannot ask for a trial but your sentence will be increased to up to 20 years.

You will be on probation for five years after serving your sentence. If you violate probation any time after serving your sentence you will have to serve the full term under the law (20 years.)

JD answered yes to each statement indicating that he understood the implications of his decision to plead guilty and consequences of failing to cooperate.

 Judge mentioned that he had received Mrs. Alka Sinha’s letter. He said that he could not act on it as yet; he will wait for the pre-sentencing report and then he will take her letter in consideration.

The above process lasted about 25 minutes. Then at 2:20 P.M. the judge announced that he had accepted the negotiated Guilty plea of Julian Daley.

With the consent of defense attorney and the Assistant Prosecutor, the judge deferred the sentencing to September 9 at 1:30 PM. 

This paves way for  the next trial of remaining three defendants, i.e.,  Christian Tinli, Christopher Conway and Cash Johnson.

                                                                           

Christian Tinli
Christopher Conway                                   Cash Johnson

   Christian Tinli                        Christopher Conway                            Cash Johnson

That trial will start on August 5, 2013. We will keep you posted of developments. Let us not lose the focus. We want to work together as a community of law abiding citizens as this affects all- US Citizens, Indian immigrants, Blacks, Whites and Asians as well as people of any religious persuasion. When the trial starts, we will need your support in being present in the court as you did for the first trial.

On behalf of Ms. Alka Sinha and the family, we thank you for your tremendous support.

Brotherly yours,

Gaurang G. Vaishnav

Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA)

Blog: <https://vicharak1.wordpress.com/>, Twitter:<http://twitter.com/#!/vicharak1>

Facebook: www.facebook.com/vicharak1


Disclaimer: This is a synopsis of court hearing based on notes taken by me. Not all communications are captured and while I attempt to be as accurate as possible, there may be legal points that could have been missed or misinterpreted. – Gaurang 

Divyendu Sinha Murder Case:Steven Contreras Pleads Guilty to 2nd Degree charge of “Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Assault” in a Plea Bargain Deal

Divyendu Sinha Murder Case Update-30 November 28, 2012

 Steven Contreras Pleads Guilty to 2nd Degree charge of “Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Assault” in a Plea Bargain Deal

1. As part of the plea bargain, Contreras plead guilty to the charge of “Conspiracy to commit Aggravated Assault”, which is a 2nd degree charge.  For purposes of sentencing, he will be sentenced for a 3rd degree charge with a jail term of up to 4 years.  The reasons for this are as follows:

  • The original charge that he was to be tried for is “Reckless Manslaughter” (2nd degree).  However, the plea agreement changed this to “Conspiracy to commit Aggravated Assault” (also 2nd degree), because by pleading guilty to a 2nd degree conspiracy charge, it greatly helps us in establishing the other 4 as co-conspirators in the next trial.
  • Secondly, in order to sentence him to only 4 years max, the charge to be used for sentencing needed to be downgraded to a 3rd degree charge, since 4 years falls below the guideline range for 2nd degree offenses.

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Update-30 November 28, 2012  

 November 28, 2012

 Dear Supporters of Sinha Family and Community Members:

Namaste. We communicated to you last on July 9 where we informed you that Steven Contreras, the driver of the car that carried other four defendants in the case of The State of New Jersey Vs. Steven K. Contreras for the murder of Dr.Divyendu Sinha on June 26, 2010 had rejected a plea bargain on June 20 and the court had set September 24, 2012 as the trial date for the charge of Reckless Manslaughter (Count 5C: Steven K. Contreras did recklessly cause the death of Dr. Divyendu Sinha)on which the previous jury was hung. Later that date was changed to November 27, 2012.

Divyendu Sinha

                                                                                                                                                                                              (Dr. Divyendu Sinha 1961-2010)

I had received several email inquiries in last couple of months inquiring about the status of the case. As we did not have firm information and we were expecting further delays, I had not been able to provide any update. In the mean time, I had to go to Bharat for a short visit and returned on 11/26 to be in time for the possible start of the trial.  On that night, the day before the trial was to start, the Assistant Prosecutor, Mr. Christopher Kuberiet called Alkabahen and informed her that Defense attorney, Mr. Abdellah had conveyed to him that Steven Contreras (SC) was ready to accept a plea deal with some modifications. Alkabahen had an urgent meeting with Mr. Kuberiet and it was decided to accept  the guilty plea from SC.

So, yesterday morning we were at the Middlesex Superior Court in the court room of Judge Bardley Ferencz. There were 150 potential jurors waiting downstairs to be called for jury selection. The judge asked counsels from both sides to state their position.

The plea deal was essentially same that the prosecutor had offered on June 20th except that the maximum exposure to jail time was reduced from five years to four years.

Mr. Abdellah went through a series of questions that he asked SC as per the standard procedure. Sc answered yes to the following questions.

  • Were you in the town of Old Bridge on the night of June 25, 2010?
  • Were you driving a vehicle?
  • Were the four defendants (Julian Daley, Christopher Conway, Cash Johnson and Christian Tinli) in your car?
  • Did you agree to go and f*** someone up?
  • Did you understand that f*** someone up meant causing serious bodily injury?
  • were there two incidences (of altercation)? {later on the Assistant Prosecutor corrected this as there were three incidences that night.)
  • Did four persons jumped out from your car (to attack Dr. Sinha and his family)?

                                                                                                     Steven Contreras-2.jpg                                  

                                                                                                                                                                                       Convicted Criminal, driver of the car: 

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Steven Contreras

Then Mr. Kuberiet asked a number of questions to which SC answered in affirmative.

  • There were three incidences and not two?
  • You said you were angry when Mr. Martino escaped from you?
  • you waited for the four defendants with your car lights off?
  • You were aware that there was serious bodily injury being caused?

Then Mr. Abdellah asked SC if he understood the following, to which SC answered Yes:

  • By pleading guilty, you are waving your right to a trial
  • You will have a felony record
  • You lose right to appeal
  • There is a presumption that you will go to jail
  • For 2nd degree Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Assault , you could be sentenced to 10 years in a state prison with 85% mandatory incarceration
  • The State will recommend to the judge to impose a sentence of no more than 4 years inclusive of all other third degree charges on which you are convicted (there was conviction on six charges.)
  • In exchange of that recommendation you will fully cooperate and testify truthfully on behalf of the State in the trial of four defendants
  • If you fail to cooperate, the Prosecution will ask the judge to cancel the deal and you could be sentenced to the full term (i.e., 10 years)
  • As a youthful offender, you will not go to the State prison
  • You do not have to pay any restitution
  • If you move to another state (during post incarceration probation period), you will need to seek permission from the court
  • Your education history, health history and family history will be evaluated before imposing the sentence
  • If you violate probation after serving your sentence (3 to 4 years), you will have to serve the full term under the law (10 years.)
  • Are you satisfied with my service

SC answered in negative when he was asked if he was coerced, threatened, influenced or promised anything other than what was written in the plea deal.

Then Assistant Prosecutor, Mr. Kuberiet turned to SC and said the following:

  • Very soon, the Judge will proclaim you guilty; do you want to speak with anyone before you plead guilty? SC answered “No.”
  • CK: Were you forced, threatened or otherwise influenced by anyone to plead guilty? SC: No.
  • CK: you can get 7 years if after serving 85% of the imposed sentence, you do not behave.
  • CK; if you do not cooperate in the trial of remaining four defendants, you will get maximum sentence, i.e., 10 years, plus possibly consecutive sentences for all third degree charges on which you were convicted; and you will not be able to ask for a trial.

Now, the Judge, Bradley Ferencz (BF) addressed SC, who stood up to plead guilty.

  • Understand that the plea is between you, your lawyer and the Prosecutor. The Court is not a party to it
  • Once the plea is accepted, it is permanent
  • You have stated that you have spoken to your lawyer
  • That he has answered all your questions
  • That he has served you well
  • That you have read and understood the guilty plea and the deal without any pressure
  • That you have answered all questions honestly
  • That you were not threatened or forced to accept the deal and plead guilty
  • That you are/were not under influence of any drug. alcohol.medicine that would impair your ability to make a decision
  • That you are completely cognizant
  • That the State has asked that you be sentenced to four years in a prison
  • If I accept the plea, you will be sentenced to from 3 to 4 years
  • If I do not accept the plea, I will impose a longer sentence; you can ask for a trial and whatever you said today cannot be used against you in the trial
  • If you do not cooperate with the prosecution (as a part of the plea bargain), the plea stands, that is, you remain guilty and you cannot ask for a trial but your sentence will be increased to up to 10 years plus possibly consecutive sentences for other crimes for which you are already convicted
  • You have to come here for the sentencing. If you do not and run away from the law, they will eventually catch you and you will be looking at 15 years in a state prison.

SC answered yes to each statement indicating that he understood the implications of his decision to plead guilty and consequences of failing to cooperate or failing to appear for sentencing.

The above process lasted about 25 minutes. Then at 10:25 am, the judge announced that he had accepted the negotiated Guilty plea of Steven Contreras. Thus after almost two years and five months to the day, came some relief to Alkabahen, her sons and her well wishers.

With the consent of defense attorney and the Assistant Prosecutor, the judge deferred the sentencing until after the trial of four co-defendants was concluded and decided that SC can stay free in the mean time.

This paves way for  the next trial of four co-defendants, i.e., Julian Daley, Christopher Conway, Cash Johnson and Christian Tinli.

image001

Christian Tinli     Cash Johnson  Christopher Conway Julian Daley   (From top left, anti-clockwise)

It is likely that the trial will start in late January, 2013. We will keep you posted of developments. Let us not lose the focus. We want to work together as a community of law abiding citizens as this effects all- US Citizens, Indian immigrants, Blacks, Whites and Asians as well as people of any religious persuasion. When the trial starts, we will need your support in being present in the court as you did for the first trial.

On behalf of Ms. Alka Sinha and the family, we thank you for your tremendous support.

Gaurang G. Vaishnav

Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA)

Follow Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America at: 

Disclaimer: This is a synopsis of court hearing based on notes taken by me. Not all communications are captured and while I attempt to be as accurate as possible, there may be legal points that could have been missed or misinterpreted. – Gaurang 

These are the third degree charges on which Sc was convicted earlier:

Count 1b (Conspiracy):

Steven K. Contreras did conspire with Julian C. Daley and/or Christian M. Tinli and/or Christopher Conway and/or Cash Q. Johnson to commit the crime of aggravated assault, significant bodily injury, and did an overt act.

Count 3b (Aggravated Assault):

Steven K. Contreras did purposely attempt to cause significant bodily injury to Anthony Martino.

 

Count 6b (Significant Bodily Injury):

Steven K. Contreras did purposely attempt to cause significant bodily injury to A.S. (Ashish Sinha.)

 

Count 7b (Significant Bodily Injury):

Steven K. Contreras did purposely attempt to cause significant bodily injury to R.S. (Ravi Sinha.)

Count 8 (Riot):

Steven K. Contreras did participate, within a group of four (4) persons, in a course of disorderly conduct with purpose to commit or facilitate the commission of a crime.

Count 9 (Hindering Prosecution or Apprehension):

Steven K. Contreras with purpose to hinder the apprehension, prosecution, conviction or punishment of another person, that is, 

 Julian C. Daley and/or Christian M. Tinli and/or Christopher Conway and/or Cash Q. Johnson did suppress, by way of concealment or destruction, any evidence of a crime, or tamper with a document or other source of information, regardless of its admissibility in evidence, which might aid in the discovery or apprehension of the said Julian C. Daley and/or Christian M. Tinli and/or Christopher Conway and/or Cash Q. Johnson or in the lodging of a charge against Julian C. Daley and/or Christian M. Tinli and/or Christopher Conway and/or Cash Q. Johnson and/or volunteered false information to a law enforcement officer.

 

Aggravated Assault on any party, significant. [ X ]

Criminal Mischief [ X ]

Dr. Divyendu Sinha Murder Trial Starts in New Jersey Court- Day 1

This week there are three court dates: April 17, 19 and 20 (Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday).

Next week Trial dates are: April 24, 25, 26, and 27 (Tuesday to Friday.)

Time is from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM with one hour lunch break, usually from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM. If you plan to attend, either arrive by 8:45 AM or 1:15 PM at court room #501.  Also keep 10 minutes for security check. Please call me at 732-754-1727 or send email to vicharak@gmail.com , if you are coming.

TV Asia will broadcast “Sinha Family’s Fight for Justice” on its Community Round UP orgiram on Tuesday, April 17 at 10:30 PM ET (7:30 PM PT) and again repeat it on Wednesday, April 18 at 7:30 PM ET.

April 16, 2012

Dear Supporters of Sinha Family and Community Members:

Namaste.  As mentioned in the previous update, after a long wait of almost 22 months first trial in Dr. Divyendu Sinha’s murder case started on Friday, April 13 at 11:00 AM.  First day ended at 4:00 PM. We had good community support with 20 people filling up two front benches.

The attack on the Sinha family occurred on the night of June 25, 2010 around 11:20 PM. Dr. Sinha died of head injuries on June 28.

Attackers who were indicted by a Grand Jury are: Steven Contreras 18, Cash Q. Johnson, 18, Christian M. Tinli, 19, Christopher Conway, 18, and Julian C. Daley, 17.

While Steven Contreras is being tried separately, trial of the remaining four defendants will tentatively start on July 10.

old-bridge-teens-tried-adults-sinhajpg-fdb9eff374f9bf9a_large.jpg

Dr. Divyendu Sinha (1961-2010)

Case is heard in the Middlesex County Superior Court of Ho. Judge Bradley Ferencz (BF).

For the State:  Middlesex County Deputy First Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Kuberiet (CK).

Defense Attorney: Hassen Abdellah (HA).

State vs. Steven Contreras

Steven Contreras.jpg

    Steven Contretras

Prosecutor File #2010-2581

Indictment: 10-11-01628

There were three components of the first day of the trial of Steven Contreras, driver of the car that took the four assailants to and from the scene of murderous attack on Divyendubhai.

Opening Statement by the Middlesex County Deputy First Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Kuberiet (CK).

Opening Statement by the Defense Attorney, Hassen Abdellah (HA).

Testimony and cross examination of Alkabahen Sinha, wife of late Divyendu Sinha.

Here is a brief summary:

Opening Statement by Christopher Kuberiet (CK):

  • Steven Contreras (SC) and his accomplices’ first victim was Anthony Martina who car was chased into a cul-de-sac because he allegedly cut them off on the road.
  • SC assisted and allowed the others to attack Dr. Sinha.
  • SC heard the screams but neither did ne intervene, nor did he call for help (Police, 911).
  • SC neither respects human life nor the rule of law. At the end of this case, you (jury) will find him guilty of homicide.
  • The crime occurred in front of 6 Fela Dr., Old Bridge (Note: Sinhas live at 25 Fela Dr.)
  • SC made a choice to murder Dr. Sinha.
  • SC chose to associate with and co-conspire with the other defendants.
  • SC chose to stop his car, chose to allow others to leave the car.
  • SC chose to stand by and watch.
  • SC chose to not assist the Sinha family.
  • SC hindered police investigation.
  • SC deleted text messages.
  • SC chose to ignore Alka Sinha’s screams for help.

To the Jury: Your job is to look at the facts and find just cause by application of Law, as will be explained by the Judge, Ferencz.

Judge Bradley Frencez.jpg

Judge Bradley Ferencz

You are sworn to be fair and just in application of Law to both parties, without bias, prejudice or emotion and beyond reasonable doubt.

Here, Mr. Kuberiet gave short life sketch of Divyendu Sinha since his arrival in USA in 1982.

  • Divyendu Sinha went for a walk with his family as many of us do; a walk from which, he never came home.
  • SC went to Wendy’s with Daley, Jonson, Tinli and Daley’s girlfriend, Casey Raymond.
  • Around 11:00 PM, SC, Daley, Johnson, Tinli and Conway left Wendy’s with SC driving.
  • They were allegedly cut off by Anthony Martino, they gave chase but Martino managed to speed away.
  • Julian Daley was giving instructions to SC as he continued the chase.  They cornered Martino in a cul-de-sac at Press Mill Dr. SC blocked the exit with his car.  Still Martino was able to escape. One of the defendants picked up a solar powered light fixture from a nearby lawn and threw at the car. This caused damage worth $2200.
  • SC did not go home after this. He did not drop off Julian Daley at his house nearby on Morning side Dr.
  • They kept driving. Conway points out the Sinhas.
  • SC parks the car and turns lights off.
  • Julian Daley, Christian Tinli, Cash Johnson and Christopher Conway walk up behind Sinhas. Tinley taps Divyendu Sinha on his shoulder and says, “I want to ask a question.” As Sinha turns around, he throws firs punch on his right temple.
  • They attack Divyendu Sinha and his two sons, Ashish (16 years) and Ravi (12 years.)  Then they run to the car and SC drives them off.
  • Alka Sinha goes in ambulance with Divyendu to Raritan Bay Hospital. They are there at 12:05 AM.
  • Dr. Reddy orders Catscan and decides Divyendu Sinha has cerebral Hemorrhage.  Divyendu is transferred to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick.
  • Dr. Michelle Tinti in the Emergency room decides that Divyendubhai’s condition is worsening.
  • On June 28, Doctor Vincent G. declared Divyendu Sinha brain dead.
  • Around same time Martino called Old Bridge police to report the incident with SC and others.  Old Bridge police had interviewed SC on June 26.
  • Old Bridge Police arrested SC on July 1 at 4:00 PM.

Mr. Kuberiet listed 10 indictments against SC. Some of them are:

  1. Conspiracy to commit aggravated assault
  2. Conspiracy to commit riot
  3. Aggravated assault
  4. Property Damage
  5. Murder
  6. Riot
  7. Hindering apprehension/prosecution of others
  8. Hindering one’s own apprehension/prosecution

CK then talked about four theories of culpability. These are: Principal, Accomplice (Aiding and Abetting), Co-Conspirator and Co-Conspirator (Offenses not within the scope of Co-Conspiracy but with reasonable and foreseeable natural consequence of the conspiracy.)

CK listed 34 witnesses whom he plans to call. The list includes doctors who treated Divyendu Sinha, Medical Examiner who performed the autopsy, Police officers and detectives, Mrs. Alka Sinha and Divyendubhai and Alkabahen’s sons, Ashish and Ravi.

CK ended his 50 minute statement asking the Jury to keep open mind, to listen to the witnesses, to evaluate witness credibility and come to court prepared to work and bring logic and not bias, bring intellect and not emotions.

Defense Attorney, Hassen Abdellah (HA)’s Opening Statement:

                                              

                                               Hassen Abdellah

  • Kuberiet has blamed SC for the state of mind and conduct of others (4 defendants.)
  • Was SC’s specific intent to murder?
  • Did this young man even physically touched Divyendu Sinha or Martino?  He was behind the wheel.
  • Jury’s intent is to be fair and impartial.
  • SC did not share state of mind or intention of four defendants. He did not share same criminal purpose. There is no proof whatsoever.
  • Weigh police witness’s credibility like any other witness’s.
  • Those police officers were not there; they did not know SC’s state of mind.
  • SC identified the people in his car.
  • Mere presence at the scene of crime is not culpable.
  • Weigh quantity vs. quality of the evidence. Look at the totality of the circumstances.
  • Pay attention to text messages. How many times is SC mentioned?
  • SC is not a murderer. He did not want anyone to engage in the murder.

HA finished his statement in 11 minutes.

Mrs. Alka Sinha on the Witness stand:

Alkabahen was the first witness for the State.

IMG_1440.JPG

Dr. Divyendu & Mrs. Alka Sinha

Old Bridge.JPG

Mrs. Alka Sinha testifying- Photo Courtesy Jerry McCrea, The Star Ledger 

  • Mr. Kuberiet asked at length questions about Alkabahen’s age, education, when married, where did Divyendubhai worked, what he did at his work, his commute time, his time at home, etc.  Divyendubhai worked as a manager in imaging division of Siemens in Tarrytown, NY, a 70 miles, one way commute. He would come home around 7:30 PM and spend the time with the family. They had been married for 20 years; Alkabahen holds a M.S. in Computer Science.
  • To a question, how would she describe June 25, she said that it was the worst day of her life.
  • Next set of questions was about their movement on that fateful night. They left home at 11:00 PM for a walk. CK asked about relative positions of all four members of the family; i.e., whether they were in one line or behind each other, in what group formation, distance between each of them, etc.
  • Alkabahen was asked as to what they were taking while on the walk. It was a typical talk about upcoming barbeque and younger son Ravi’s robotics summer class in which he wanted help form his father.
  • Then, CK asked Alkabahen to narrate the minutes before the attack, attack and minutes after the attack.
  • They were on their return leg, when they heard footsteps following them, which was quite unusual.  They decided to walk faster to their home (only a few hundred feet away.)  Then one of the assailants taped Divyendubhai on the shoulder and said, “I want to ask you a question.” As Divyendubhai turned around that person (later identified as Christian Tinli) punched him above his right ear. Divyendubhai moved with the force and then all of them started throwing punches and kicking. They punched Ashish and Ravi and went around taking turns. Alkabahen started screaming for help. By now Divyendubhai was lying on the grass at 6 Fela Dr. trying to protect his head with his forearm. He asked them why they were beating him.  Suddenly the attackers realized that the family they had attacked was neighbors to a fried of theirs. So they all ran to a dark color car (that of SC) which was parked at the corner of Fela and Nathan. There was joy of accomplishment as they ran towards the car.
  • Alkabahen and Ashish supported Divyendubhai as they wanted to reach their home but after only a few steps, Divyendubhai was limping on the left side and could not walk further; Ravi was complaining of dizziness. Alkabahen set down on the curb at the corner of Fela and Raven with Divyendubhai’s head in her lap. He was complaining that his head was hurting and he asked Alkabahen to take him home.  Ashish, the elder son called their next door neighbor’s elder son, Brian Sousso, and 911.  Brian came and called a neighborhood doctor, Jamey Vuy (name not clear). Dr. J. brought water and juice for Divyendubhai but he could not drink. Dr. J. put his jacket around Divyendubhai to keep him warm.
  • Then the police and ambulance came. They decided to take Divyendubhai to Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge which was the nearest facility. Alkabahen arranged for Ravi to be taken care of by wife of Dr. J. and she asked Brian to take Ashish to a hospital for treatment of cuts and bruises on his face. Alkabahen accompanied Divyendubhai to the hospital.
  • Time elapsed between the attack and reaching hospital was about 20 minutes. At the hospital, initially Divyendubhai was able to describe the attack, but soon his response time started getting longer. He could not move his limbs on the left and then on the right upon doctor’s instructions. His speech was not clear.  Raritan Bay Medical Center does not have a trauma center so Divyendubhai was transferred to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital (RWJ) in New Brunswick around 3:00/3:30 AM.  Alkabahen was waiting outside in the emergency room for 30 to 45 minutes while Divyendubhai was inside.  When she saw him, he could not communicate and he could not see her. He was (close to) brain dead. He was transferred to ICU room.
  • To a question from Mr. Kuberiet, Alkabahen said that Divyendubhai never left RWJ and he never came back to his home from that walk.
  • While at the hospital for three days (Divyendubhai was declared brain dead on June 28 early morning.). Alkabahen did speak to Detective Morris and Paul Miller. Alkabahen did not give a statement to the police until July 10, 2010 as she was not in a position to do so.
  • To another question, she replied that they had never known the assailants and that there was no bad blood between them and her family. She also said that they did not fight back when the guys attacked them.
  • After her deposition, Mr. Kuberiet showed her several aerial photos of the crime scene and neighborhood which she identified and signed so that these could be introduced as exhibits in the trial.
  • Defense Attorney HA asked only a couple of questions mainly insisting that the photos she had identified were taken in day light (presumably to stress that the crime took place at night.)

Alkabahen was on the stand for 90 minutes. She faced the reliving of the painful and horrendous memory with courage and bravery. She was composed most of the time, though she did breakdown a couple of times, which is but natural.   The Judge called it a day at the end of Alkabahen’s testimony.

We know that the whole society, Indian Americans as well as Americans are with her in her quest for justice.  Please also visit our web site www.divyendusinha.com; you may also leave your thoughts there.

You may also see newspaper reports at: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/04/tearful_widow_of_old_bridge_ma.html and

Please forward this to your contacts and encourage them to attend the trial.

Thank you.

Brotherly yours,

Gaurang G. Vaishnav

Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA)

Indian American Defense League (IADL)

732-754-1727

Blog at <https://vicharak1.wordpress.com/>, Twitter at<http://twitter.com/#!/vicharak1>

Court Address, Directions and Parking Information:

Middlesex County Superior Court

56 Paterson Street, Fifth Floor (Judge Ferencz’s Court Room)

New Brunswick, NJ 08901-2014

(732) 519-3200 ‎

Click for Directions

The court is on the fifth floor. Look for the Judge Bradley Ferencz’s court room (Go to the Right from the elevator).

Paid Parking (very reasonable rates) is available at several locations.

http://www.njnbpa.org/parking-locator

Ferren Deck on Church Street is most convenient, as you can access the court house by following signs (third floor) from the parking deck itself.

For GPS and MapQuest directions to Ferren Deck, use

180 Church Street

New Brunswick, NJ 08901 or click here.

 (If you are coming off Rte. 18 and going South on Rte. 27, Turn left at light for Nelson St., then first right on Church St. Go through one traffic light and one stop sign and turn right into Ferren Deck parking. Access to the Court House is from the third floor with clear signage.)

On street parking with meters is available but very difficult to find. For free on street parking, one has to walk several blocks; it is generally available on side streets off Livingston Ave., west of Suydam street (15-20 minutes walk).

If you care coming by train (NJ transit), it is only five minute walk from the New Brunswick station. (Across Rte. 27/French St., enter Feren Mall and go to third floor, follow signs for Middlesex Superior Court.)

Disclaimer: This is a synopsis of court hearing based on notes taken by me. Not all communications are captured and while I attempt to be as accurate as possible, there may be legal points that could have been missed or misinterpreted.- Gaurang 

 

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