Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that Muhammad Ramseur, 25, of Newark pleaded guilty to carjacking a 65-year-old grandmother. When Ramseur is sentenced on March 16, he is expected to receive 15 years in New Jersey State Prison.
In a case before the Honorable Joseph V. Isabella, J.S.C., Ramseur elected to plead guilty to all seven counts charged in the indictment at approximately 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 3, after the jurors had deliberated for two days. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Ramseur also pleaded guilty to another carjacking and to burglarizing an automobile dealership.
On June 7, 2010 the victim was on her way to pick up her granddaughter, driving a powder blue Jaguar, when she was rear-ended by a car with North Carolina license plates on Springfield Avenue and South Jacob Street in Newark. When she stepped out the car to inspect the damage to her vehicle, Ramseur rushed her and took control of her car. In the process of trying to stop him, the victim became entangled in the seat belt and was dragged two blocks, according to Assistant Prosecutor Marlyen Habib.
The victim dislocated her shoulder, broke her collar bone and sustained numerous lacerations and bruises before she was freed from the car and left in the gutter. Later the victim’s car was recovered. Her New Jersey license plates had been removed and replaced with North Carolina license plates, according to Assistant Prosecutor Amber Loughran who tried the case with Assistant Prosecutor Habib.
Ramseur’s fingerprints were on the North Carolina license plates and his DNA was recovered from a marijuana cigarette found in the car. In addition, the victim selected him from a photo array.
The indictment charged Ramseur with conspiracy to commit carjacking, carjacking, aggravated assault, endangering an injured victim and various weapons offenses. In this case, the weapon was the car.
On Friday afternoon, the jury told the judge they had reached an agreement on one count but were unable to reach a consensus on the other counts. Judge Isabella instructed the jurors to continue deliberating. Shortly, thereafter, Ramseur agreed to plead guilty.
In addition to pleading guilty to the June 7, 2010 carjacking, Ramseur also pleaded to a second carjacking on June 16, 2010 also in the city of Newark and he pleaded guilty to burglarizing Mecca Auto Sales on June 10, 2010. In the burglary, Ramseur’s DNA was recovered from the crime scene because he cut his hand.
“This defendant was a one man crime spree. He poses a serious danger to the community. Randomly and without regard for human life, he carjacked innocent people going about their daily routine. We are glad we were able to keep him off the streets,’’ said Assistant Prosecutor Habib.