Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino announced today that an eight-year sentence was imposed on Elise Munafo, 24, of Kearny for running down another woman outside a Newark night club.
The Honorable Sherry Hutchinson-Henderson, J.S.C, sentenced Munafo to five years for second degree aggravated assault for which she must serve 85 percent of the term before being eligible for parole. Munafo must also serve a consecutive term of three years for endangering the life of an injured victim.
“This is a tragic case of a young woman who allowed her rage to overcome her common sense. The result was a violent assault on a defenseless victim,’’ said Assistant Prosecutor Marlyen Habib.
Although Munafo faced up to 15 years in prison, Habib said she did not recommend the maximum penalty because of the defendant’s youthfulness.
On March 1, 2009 Munafo was the XL Lounge located on New York Avenue and Jabez Street in Newark. After starting a fight inside the bar with the victim, Erica Ortiz, Munafo and her boyfriend were removed from the club by the bouncer at approximately 1:45 a.m.
Instead of leaving the location, they waited outside the XL Lounge for the victim. At approximately 3 a.m., after the night club closed, the victim was attacked by Munafo and her boyfriend as she left the XL Lounge.
Other patrons came to the victim’s defense at which time Munafo and her boyfriend left the area. Moments later they returned and Munafo ran Ms. Ortiz over with her car, dragging her 50 feet down New York Avenue, where the victim was finally dislodged from underneath Munafo’s vehicle.
On July 16, an Essex County jury found Munafo guilty of 2nd degree aggravated assault, 3rd degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, 4th degree aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, 4th degree aggravated assault by automobile, 4th degree endangering an injured victim and 4th degree obstructing the administration of the law.