During a sentencing hearing recently held in Essex County Superior Court, a man from Irvington, New Jersey received a 75-year prison sentence in connection with a 2011 Newark homicide.
According to the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, 27-year-old Andre Mells fired 10 shots from 2 guns when he killed 27-year-old Newark resident Idris Denmark on May 29, 2011 in New Hope Village, located on Norfolk Street in Newark. This crime represented just one of the deaths that occurred during the same week, which was marred by shootings resulting in 5 total fatalities and 12 other injured victims.
Mells was ultimately found guilty of charges for murder and weapons offenses in January, following his trial and a 5-hour jury deliberation. Essex County Assistant Prosecutor Portia Downing credited witnesses and members of the community for assisting the prosecution in its case, citing their testimony as an integral factor in Mells’ conviction.
Under the terms of his sentence, Mells will be required to serve nearly 64 years in New Jersey State Prison, as homicide is one of the crimes enumerated under the No Early Release Act (NERA). Crimes included under this statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2, are subject to a parole ineligibility term of 85% of the base term imposed.
In addition, Superior Court Judge Michael Ravin likely considered Mells’ criminal record, which includes an aggravated assault conviction in 2003 and a conviction on charges for unlawful possession of a weapon in 2005, among the aggravating factors in this case, before determining the appropriate sentence. According to prosecutors, Mells was previously arrested 18 times and convicted of at least 2 felonies before this 2011 crime.
For more information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Irvington man gets 75 years for fatal shooting on Newark street in 2011