Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens, II, announced today that Gustavo Palomo, 39, of Newark was sentenced to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison for killing 19-year-old Jaleel McCauley in a car crash.
The sentence was imposed by the Honorable Ronald D. Wigler, the Presiding Judge of the Criminal Division. In December, Palomo pled guilty to vehicular homicide. Under the No Early Release Act, Palomo must serve 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.
On March 17, 2019 at approximately 6:39 p.m. McCauley was struck from behind by a white pick-up truck while his car was stopped at a red light on the exit ramp of I-280 and First Street in Newark. McCauley sustained serious injuries and on March 23 he died from those injuries.
Palomo, the driver of the white pick-up truck that struck McCauley, fled the scene, according to Assistant Prosecutor Brian Pollock. He was quickly apprehended. The investigation revealed that Palomo was traveling at a high rate of speed and driving under the influence of alcohol, Prosecutor Pollock said.
“Defendant’s decision to drive after drinking prematurely ended the very promising life of a vibrant and altruistic 19-year-old man and caused unfathomable pain to those that loved him. If the deterrent effect of defendant’s long prison term spares just one family the same pain suffered by Jaleel McCauley’s family, then it will be justified,” said Assistant Prosecutor Pollock.