ELIZABETH, NJ – The verdict is guilty for an Essex County man who robbed a woman at gunpoint on Bayway Avenue last year.
Diken Michelle, 30, of East Orange, was convicted on charges including first-degree robbery, two second-degree gun offenses, third-degree theft, and fourth-degree possession of a large-capacity magazine following a two-week trial before state Superior Judge Scott J. Moynihan and several hours of jury deliberation spread out over two days.
The unidentified victim parked her car on the 100 block of Bayway Avenue on Jan. 26, 2014. As she gathered her belongings in her vehicle, Michelle approached the vehicle, brandished a handgun, and demanded her personal effects. The woman handed over items including her purse, cell phone, makeup case, a duffel bag, and her car keys, after which Michelle fled the scene. A bystander who witnessed the crime then approached the victim and immediately called 911.
Elizabeth Police Department patrol units used the “Find my iPhone” app to trace the victim’s cell phone to a location on the 300 block of South Front Street in Elizabeth, where they found Michelle and arrested him shortly thereafter. The victim subsequently identified Michelle as the person responsible for the robbery, and her personal belongings were recovered from the defendant’s nearby parked vehicle.
The next day, a handgun matching the description of that used in the robbery was recovered in a snow bank not far from where Michelle and his vehicle were found.
Sentencing in the case is scheduled for Dec. 4, at which time Michelle will be facing an extended term of imprisonment due to prior convictions on unrelated indictable offenses.