EAST ORANGE, NJ —Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens, II, announced today that Jerome Bearfield, 28, of Newark, plead guilty to first degree aggravated manslaughter and second degree unlawful possession of a weapon before the Honorable Ronald D. Wigler, Presiding Criminal Part Judge.

According to Assistant Prosecutor Adam Wells, who is handling the case, Bearfield fatally shot Basil Howard, 50, of East Orange on May 5, 2018. 

Following a traffic accident in which Howard rear-ended Bearfield, Bearfield exited his car with a .38 revolver and fire shots at Howard, ultimately killing him. Bearfield did not have a license to carry a gun.

Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

“Mr. Howard is another innocent victim of senseless gun violence. I hope this resolution will give closure to his family,’’ said Assistant Prosecutor Wells.

Bearfield is facing 25 years pursuant to the No Early Release Act. He is scheduled for sentencing on Oct. 4.