Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that Jose Garcia-Lendos, a 25-year-old undocumented Honduran living in Orange, pleaded guilty today before the Honorable Peter J. Vazquez, J.S.C., to aggravated manslaughter for the Aug. 6, 2012 killing of Jacques Nelson, 32, also of Orange.
A father of four, Nelson was killed trying to stop a fight between bar patrons outside Misty’s Restaurant and Bar on Main Street in West Orange. Nelson, 32, worked a second job on weekends at the bar for just eight months prior to the deadly encounter.
After killing Nelson, Garcia-Lendos fled. He was arrested a week later in Texas as he tried to cross the border into Mexico.
In Superior court today, through a Spanish language interpreter, Garcia-Lendos admitted shooting Nelson. At the time he shot Nelson, the defendant was trying to kill another man.
In addition to aggravated manslaughter, Garcia-Lendos pleaded guilty to attempted murder and possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, Garcia-Lendos faces 24 years in New Jersey State Prison when he is sentenced on Sept. 17. Under the No Early Release Act, he must serve 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole. After he is released from prison Garcia-Lendos will be deported.
“This is another example of a tragic result due to the combination of an unlawful handgun, anger and alcohol,’’ said Assistant Prosecutor Eileen O’Connor, who handled with the case with Assistant Prosecutor Nicole Buermann.