December 3, 2013 at 2:15 PM
WEST ORANGE, NJ - Clarence Williams, 42, of Newark, was sentenced to 25 years in state prison for the June 24, 2011 carjacking of a West Orange man. The announcement came Tuesday from Carolyne A. Murray, Acting Essex County Prosecutor.
Williams was convicted of the crime on Sept. 25, 2013 by an Essex County Jury on one count of carjacking after the completion of a two week trial.
Tuesday's sentencing was handed down by Judge Michael Ravin. Williams has five prior felony convictions and 21 previous arrests and under the No Early Release Act must serve 21.5 years before parole eligibility.
On June 24, 2011, Williams forcibly entered the victim's Infiniti as he put air in the tire at an Exxon gas station in West Orange. The victim, who was 21 at the time, was dragged 45 yards into oncoming traffic with his leg trapped beneath the car. The victim avoided being run over by oncoming traffic by letting go of the car and rolling onto the side of the road.
Williams escaped with the Infiniti, which was found five days later about two miles from Williams’ Newark residence. Investigators discovered Williams’ DNA on a cigarette and soda bottle found in the vehicle.
Assistant Prosecutor Jamel Semper, who tried the case against Williams, said "Given this defendant’s extensive criminal history, we sought the maximum of 30 years in prison but we are satisfied that a violent offender will be off the streets for the next two decades.’’