NEWARK, NJ - Nicholas Welch, 29, of East Orange, was sentenced to life in State Prison for the September 2010 murder of Seton Hall sophomore Jessica A. Moore, Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray has announced.
In addition to the life sentence imposed by Honorable Robert H. Gardner, Judge of the Superior Court, for murdering Moore, a 19-year-old from Disputante, Virginia, who was also an honor student who graduated from Upper Merion High School, in Pennsylvania, Welch was also sentenced to an additional 20 years for the attempted murder of four other students, Yvan Christophe, Nakeisha Vanterpool, Nicosia Henry and Daryl Elmore, all of whom were shot during the attack but survived.
“This defendant opened fire on unarmed, defenseless college students. There is no place in society for this type of behavior,” said Assistant Prosecutor Jamel Semper. “We are satisfied that this sentence will keep this defendant off the streets for the rest of his life.” Semper tried the case along with Assistant Prosecutor Romesh Sukhdeo.
The Essex County jury convicted Welch followed an 18-day trial in March of this year. On Sept. 25, 2010, Welch fired shots into the crowd at an off-campus party after being told by members of the fraternity sponsoring the party that the house was filled to capacity. Welch had been arrested 28 times, including 10 as a juvenile, and had one prior felony conviction as an adult.
A life sentence in New Jersey is 75 years. With this conviction and sentence to life plus 20 years, Under the No Early Release Act, Welch must serve 89 years before he is eligible for parole. A second defendant, Marcus Bacus, is still awaiting trial.