DEFENDANT(s): Kanem Williamson
Newark — Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino announced today that Kanem Williamson, 22, of Newark was sentenced to 25 years in New Jersey State Prison by the Honorable Siobhan Teare, Judge of the Superior Court, for killing of Amera Bell, a 35-year-old Newark mother, who was shot outside her Bradley Court apartment building.
Earlier this year an Essex County jury convicted Williamson of shooting the victim five times. As a result of the gunshot injuries she was left paralyzed and remained hospitalized for 11 months before she died.
Williamson was found guilty of first-degree aggravated manslaughter in the death of Bell. On May 5, 2014, he shot at the victim 11 times using a 9mm Ruger handgun. Five of the shots hit Bell. One of the bullets severed her spine, leaving her paralyzed below her neck.
She died on April 7, 2015 as a result of medical complications from the wounds.
Assistant Prosecutor Justin Edwab, who tried the case, asked the judge to impose a consecutive sentence of 25 years for the aggravated manslaughter and 8 years for the unlawful possession of a handgun for a total sentence of 33 years in New Jersey State Prison. The defense argued for 10 years.
The judge imposed a 25-year sentence and ordered that Williamson be on parole supervision for an additional five years when he is released from custody. The judge also ran this sentence consecutive to a sentence the defendant received on a case he was out on bail on at the time of the homicide. That older case, a case that predated the homicide case by almost 7 months, was disposed of on Nov. 28, 2017 before Judge Ronald D. Wigler, Presiding Judge of the Criminal Division, wherein the defendant was sentenced to 42 months New Jersey State Prison with 42 months parole ineligibility for unlawful possession of a handgun. Williamson has been incarcerated at the Essex County Correctional Facility since he was charged with homicide.
“This is truly a tragic case of a young mother walking in front of her apartment building being shot for no apparent reason. The loss has been tremendous for her children and extended family. We hope this final resolution of the case will bring them some sense that justice has been served,’’ said Assistant Prosecutor Edwab.