Newark – Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that Virgil Suggs, 43, of Newark was sentenced to life in prison for the October 2012 murder of Bronique McLeod, a 24-year-old mother of two.
On Oct. 1, 2012, for no apparent reason, Suggs open fire on a van carrying four people while they were stopped at a traffic light in the vicinity of Hawthorne Avenue and Osborne Terrace in Newark. McLeod and a young male were shot. Two other people in the van were not hurt.
McLeod and the other victim were taken to the hospital. She was pronounced dead at 3 a.m. on Oct. 2, 2012. The man’s injuries were not life-threatening.
In June of this year, an Essex County jury convicted Suggs on all counts. In addition to being found guilty of murdering McLeod, Suggs was also found guilty of conspiracy, weapons charges and attempted murder.
At the time of the murder, Suggs had been released on bail for another offense.
Suggs was identified because witnesses said the shooter was wearing a Giants football jersey with the number 98 on it, according to Assistant Prosecutor Gregg Brown, who tried the case with Assistant Prosecutor Paul Bradley. Three days later Suggs was in court on another matter wearing a Giants football jersey with the number 98 on it. The surviving victims identified Suggs as the shooter.
Suggs has a lengthy juvenile criminal history. As an adult he had been arrested 20 times and he has seven adult felony convictions aside from the murder of McLeod and the other charges from this case.
“Without any regard for human life this defendant opened fire on a van of innocent people stopped at a traffic light, killing one and injuring another. Because he poses a serious and continuing threat to the community, we believe the sentence imposed, which will keep him behind bars for the rest of his life, is absolutely appropriate,” said Assistant Prosecutor Brown.
Suggs would have to serve 80 years before he is eligible for parole.