Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that an Essex County jury convicted Jahaan Allen, 28, and Nathaniel Broadnax, 30, both of Newark, following a trial before the Honorable Verna G. Leath, J.S.C.
The case was tried by Assistant Prosecutor Adam Salzer. On May 5, 2011, Newark Police officers noticed the two defendants in a car that had reportedly been taken during a gunpoint carjacking in Elizabeth. The officers attempted to pull the vehicle over in the vicinity of Littleton and South Orange Avenue. Allen, who was the driver, refused to stop and a chase ensued.
The chase continued for some distance. Eventually the car was forced to stop because of a construction road block. Broadnax, the passenger, jumped out of the car and fled. He was immediately arrested by Newark Police officers following a struggle. Allen fled and jumped off an NJ Transit overpass, a drop estimated to be at least 25 feet. He was later apprehended by the Newark Police hiding on the train tracks. He was in possession of 22 pills commonly called BZP which stands for Benzylpiperazine.
After deliberating for three hours yesterday and today, the jury returned a guilty verdict.
Allen was convicted of 2nd degree eluding, 3rd degree receiving stolen property, 3rd degree possession of narcotics and 4th degree resisting by flight. He was acquitted of 3rd degree resisting by force. Broadnax was convicted of resisting arrest by force and resisting arrest by flight.
Sentencing is scheduled for May 10 before Judge Leath. Allen faces 5 to 10 years in state prison. Broadnax faces 3 to 5 years in state prison.
Broadnax has a significant prior record. In March 2004, Broadnax was convicted of reckless manslaughter and weapons charges. He was sentenced to 9 years in state prison. In January 2013, a federal judge sentenced Broadnax to three years and seven months for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Allen has no prior felony convictions.
“By taking police on a chase through city streets, these two defendants posed a serious threat to the police officers and the public at large. We will be seeking the maximum sentence,’’ said Assistant Prosecutor Salzer.