Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that the Honorable Michael L. Ravin, Judge of the Superior Court, sentenced Clarence Williams, 42, of Newark to 25 years in New Jersey State Prison for carjacking a 21-year-old West Orange man.
Following a two week trial, on Sept. 25, Williams was convicted by an Essex County jury of one count of carjacking.
The crime occurred on June 24, 2011. The victim was putting air in the tire of his Infiniti at an Exxon gas station in West Orange when Williams suddenly entered the vehicle. According to Assistant Prosecutor Jamel Semper, who tried the case, the victim was dragged 45 yards into oncoming traffic with his leg trapped beneath the car. The victim was able to avoid being hit by oncoming traffic by letting go of the car and rolling onto the side of the road.
Williams was able to flee the scene of the crime but five days later the car was recovered in Newark, approximately two miles from Williams’ home. Williams’ DNA was discovered on a cigarette and soda bottle found in the car.
Today, Judge Ravin sentenced Williams, who has five prior felony convictions and 21 previous arrests, to 25 years in state prison. Under the No Early Release Act, Williams must serve 21 ½ years before he becomes eligible for parole.
“Given this defendant’s extensive criminal history, we sought the maximum of 30 years in prison but we are satisfied that a violent offender will be off the streets for the next two decades,’’ said Semper.