A West Orange NJ man has been acquitted of aggravated manslaughter charges stemming from a 2010 crash in Cedar Grove NJ that killed an 18-year-old passenger when she was ejected from the backseat.
After three (3) days of deliberations, a jury in Essex County Superior Court found 21-year-old Alberto Nunez not guilty of the manslaughter charge. The jurors deadlocked on a lesser charge of vehicular homicide.
Prosecutors had argued that Mr. Nunez was speeding when he crashed his 1995 Acura Integra into a utility pole on Ridge Road in Cedar Grove in September 2010. As a result of the crash, Adreana Nelson was killed and another passenger was injured.
During the trial, Mr. Nunez’s attorney questioned the prosecution’s estimates of Mr. Nunez’s speed before the accident. Defense attorneys also pointed out that neither drugs nor alcohol were found in Mr. Nunez’s system after the accident.
In New Jersey, aggravated manslaughter is addressed by N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4. Had Mr. Nunez been convicted of aggravated manslaughter, he could have been sentenced to as many as 30 years in New Jersey State Prison.
Essex County prosecutors said that if a plea deal isn’t worked out, they intend to re-try Mr. Nunez on the vehicular homicide charge.
For more information about this case, see the NJ.com article entitled “West Orange Man Acquitted of Manslaughter in 2010 Cedar Grove Crash.”