Jan. 21, 2016
Ali Muhammad Brown Sentenced to 36 ½ Years for West Orange Robbery
Newark – Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that Ali Muhammad Brown, 31, of Seattle, Washington was sentenced yesterday to 36 years and six months in New Jersey State Prison by the Honorable Michael Petrolle, Judge of the Superior Court, for the armed robbery of a West Orange man on July 10, 2014.
Judge Petrolle sentenced Brown to 35 years for the first degree robbery and two weapons offenses. The Judge also imposed a consecutive 18 month sentence for possession of hollow point bullets. Under the No Early Release Act, Brown must serve 33 years before becoming eligible for parole.
“Ali Muhammad Brown terrorized an innocent victim by robbing the victim at gunpoint before locking the victim inside of a car trunk. There is an overwhelming need to deter this defendant and others from engaging in any further violent criminality that endangers the citizens of our community. This sentence will keep Ali Muhammad Brown off the streets for decades,’’ said Assistant Prosecutor Jamel Semper, who tried the robbery case.
The victim was opening the passenger side door of his car in the parking lot of an apartment complex in the 200 block of Mount Pleasant Avenue in West Orange when he was approached by Brown. Wearing a mask and dressed in camouflage, Brown confronted the victim at 6 am. He stole the victim’s wallet and other personal items and then ordered the victim into the trunk of his car, according to Assistant Prosecutor Semper.
Law enforcement linked Brown to the robbery prior to his capture on July 18 when officers located Brown in a makeshift campsite near the apartment complex. Upon arresting Brown, officers seized a loaded firearm that was linked to several homicides that Brown has been charged with committing. Brown is presumed innocent of those homicide charges.
Brown was also found to be in possession of a journal that contained handwritten excerpts specifying a desire to engage in Jihad and travel to conflict zones in the Middle East. Additionally, officers found the West Orange’s robbery victim’s driver’s license and other items including the mask and camouflage jacket that Brown wore during the robbery.
On Nov. 17, 2015 an Essex County jury convicted Brown of robbery and weapons offenses. Ordinarily first degree armed robbery carries a maximum sentence of 20 years but Assistant Prosecutor Semper sought an extended prison sentence because of Brown’s three prior felony convictions. Once the court determined Brown was eligible for an extended term, Brown faced a sentence of 20 years to life.