Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino announced today that an Essex County Grand Jury returned a four count indictment charging Preye L. Roberts with attempted murder and weapons charges.
Roberts, 24, of Nutley is accused of shooting Fairfield police officer Gerald Veneziano multiple times on January 30, after aggressively following the off-duty officer to a parking lot near the Fairfield Police headquarters. Veneziano, 26, of Belleville was dressed in plain clothes and driving his personal car on his way to work when he was attacked.
In addition to being indicted for first degree attempted murder, Roberts was indicted on second degree unlawful possession of a weapon, second degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and second degree possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.
If convicted of all the charges Roberts faces 30 years in prison.
“The defendant is formally charged and the case will be brought before the trial court to be formally arraigned on Oct. 25 before the Honorable Judge Joseph Cassini,’’ said Assistant Prosecutor Romesh Sukhdeo, who is handling the case. “This is the first step in resolving this very serious matter.’’
The charges are mere accusations. All defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until they are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.