SOMERVILLE, N.J. – A 29-year-old Basking Ridge man has been found guilty of weapons possesion stemming from a 2014 car accident in Hillsborough.
A Somerset County jury found Brian Niziolek guilty of 2nd degree Unlawful Possession of a Handgun following a five-day trial in Somerville, according to Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.
Niziolek and two other occupants were injured in an early-morning one-car accident in the vicinity of New Center Road and Orchard Drive March 8, 2014, according to information from the prosecutor's office. Police said they found Niziolek and the other two occupants seated on the ground. The car was heavily damaged.
Police said a .25 caliber semi-automatic handgun was found on the ground near the passenger door of the damaged vehicle. Niziolek was handcuffed and transported to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick for treatment.
The gun was processed for fingerprints and DNA evidence. Niziolek’s DNA was detected on the handgun, according to Robertson.
Following his conviction by the jury on the Unlawful Possession of a Handgun indictment, Niziolek waived his right to be tried by a jury and agreed to a bench trial on a related indictment charging 2nd degree Certain Persons Not to Possess Firearms, the prosecutor's office said.
At the second trial in state Superior Court, the prosecution entered evidence of Niziolek’s prior convictions for sexual assault, aggravated assault, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, unlawful possession of a weapon, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, burglary, possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance, possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance within 1,000 feet of a school, possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance within 500 feet of a public park and possession of a controlled dangerous substance.
Niziolek was found guilty of the 2nd degree Certain Persons Not to Possess Firearms indictment by Judge Angela Borkowski following the bench trial, according to information from Robertson.
Based on Niziolek’s criminal history, he is eligible to be sentenced as a persistent offender to twenty years in prison with a ten-year period of parole ineligibility, the prosecutor's office said. Niziolek’s bail was revoked, and sentencing was scheduled for July 22, 2016.