ELIZABETH, NJ - Eduardo Perez, 33, from Elizabeth pleaded guilty on Monday to charges including second-degree vehicular homicide and driving while intoxicated in connection with the death of 23-year-old Mujahid Henry of Newark.
Perez admitted to driving drunk on the night he struck and killed Henery in Linden last year before fleeing the scene of the crime, authorities said.
At approximately 12:30 a.m. on Friday, May 12, 2017, Linden police units responded to the 1200 block of East Linden Ave. on a report of a motor vehicle incident, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Melissa Spagnoli, who prosecuted the case.
An investigation led by the Linden police determined that a 2007 Ford Escape being driven by Perez and traveling eastbound at that location struck Henry, who was thrown into a nearby parked car and pronounced dead at the scene, Spagnoli said.
Authorities say Perez then drove into Elizabeth and abandoned the SUV on the 700 block of Lidgerwood Ave., colliding with several parked vehicles in the process. He was located by Elizabeth police units on nearby Kenneth Ave. moments later and arrested.
Police say their investigation determined that Perez was speeding and on the wrong side of the road when he struck and killed Henry. Perez was found to have been in possession of a nearly empty bottle of cognac when he was arrested, and his blood-alcohol level was recorded at more than twice the legal limit of 0.08.
Authorities said at the time of the incident Perez was on probation and driving on a suspended license following convictions on charges including robbery and aggravated assault.
Sentencing in the case has been scheduled for Friday, March 23 at which time authorizes say, the State will request a term of eight years in state prison, with at least 85 percent of that time to be served before the possibility of parole under New Jersey’s No Early Release Act.