NEWARK, NJ - The four suspects charged in connection with the carjacking and murder of Dustin Friedland at The Mall at Short Hills were arraigned on Wednesday and pled not guilty to the charges of murder, felony murder, carjacking, conspiracy and weapons possession.
The attorneys for Hanif Thompson, 29, of Irvington and Karif Ford, 31; Basim Henry, 32; and Kevin Roberts, 33, of Newark; appeared before Judge Peter J. Vazquez and entered the not-guilty pleas.
The defendants could face life in prison for their alleged roles in the carjacking and murder on Dec. 15.
Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray said that the four were targeting the Range Rover and not Friedland, a native of Toms River, who lived in Hoboken and worked in Westfield.
Authorities have still not specified which of the four suspects is thought to have shot Friedland, whose wife was with him, but not harmed in the incident. Murray said that the four men were all in the parking lot the night of the killing. Two fled in the stolen Range Rover while the other two drove away in the vehicle in which they arrived.