Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that Jererad Hollaway, 26, of Newark was found guilty by an Essex County jury of second degree unlawful possession of a handgun but acquitted of murdering Michael Reese, 22, of Newark.
The case was tried before the Honorable Judge Joseph Cassini, III, J.S.C. Deliberations began last week. The jury returned a verdict this morning.
On Nov. 8, 2009, Reese was found shot to death on Norwood Street in Newark. A motive for Reese’s death is still unknown.
Sentencing is scheduled for May 3 before Judge Cassini. When he is sentenced the state will seek a minimum of 10 years in New Jersey state prison with a five-year period of parole ineligibility to run consecutive to the current 5 year sentence Holloway is serving in state prison for unlawful possession of a handgun.
At sentencing in May the state will seek an extended prison term because this is Hollaway’s third conviction for possession of a handgun in violation of the Graves Act, the state law that imposes mandatory sentences on anyone convicted of certain crimes with a gun.
Assistant Prosecutor Justin Edwab, who tried the case, said, “We are disappointed he was acquitted of murdering Michael Reese but we respect the jury’s verdict. We will seek the lengthiest sentence possible to keep this dangerous criminal off the street.’’