By Robert Florida
Newark – Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens, II announced that an Essex County jury has convicted Edwin Andujar of murder for fatally stabbing Thomas Parent, 59, of Belleville.
On August 7, 2014, Belleville Police responded to 26 Wallace Street, 2nd Floor Apartment, and found victim Thomas Parent sitting in a wheelchair suffering from multiple stab wounds to his abdomen and back, and a laceration to his arm consistent with a defensive wound. Prior to police arrival, the suspect was observed by a witness standing over Parent holding a bloody knife. That witness then called 911. Upon arrival of the police, Andujar told the officer, “I stabbed him, I couldn’t take it anymore.” Andujar was then placed under arrest. During the arrest, the officer observed a bloody serrated steak knife under the victim’s wheelchair.
On Thursday, January 25, following a multi-week trial before Superior Court Judge Michael L. Ravin, the jury found Andujar guilty of three counts: Murder, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, and Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose.
“This defendant brutally stabbed Thomas Parent approximately a dozen times in the stomach and twice in the back as he sat defenseless in his wheelchair. It was an unthinkable, cowardly, intentional act. The defendant’s claim of self-defense didn’t stand up against the facts, the evidence, and even his own statements made at the time of the murder. We and the family of the victim are very grateful that the jury came to the same conclusion,’’ said Assistant Prosecutor Michele Miller.
Assistant Prosecutor Monica Calderon, who tried the case with Miller, said:
“We would like to thank the jury for their hard work and their just verdict. This was not a case of self-defense, but a deliberate attack on a vulnerable victim. We hope this verdict brings Thomas Parent’s family some degree of closure.”
Andujar faces life in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for April 5, 2024.