NEWARK, NJ – Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that an Essex County jury has convicted Azim Brogsdale, 21, of Newark of the murder of 16-year-old Khalil Williams, of Irvington, following a trial before the Honorable Alfonso J. Cifelli, Judge of the Superior Court.
Assistant Prosecutor Justin Edwab, who tried the case, said, “The verdict today is appropriate considering the cowardly act committed by this defendant. The four victims – all innocent young men – were simply walking home when they were robbed at gunpoint. Brogsdale made the decision to turn the robbery into a murder by senselessly shooting at these four young men as they tried to run away. Sadly, Khalil Williams sustained a fatal gunshot wound to his back as he tried to escape.’’
In addition to murder, the jury also convicted Brogsdale of four counts of robbery – one for each victim – felony murder, conspiracy to commit murder, unlawful possession of a .45 caliber gun, unlawful possession of .380 caliber handgun and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
The victims were walking in the vicinity of Orange Avenue and Orange Place in Irvington on Feb. 17, 2012 when they were approached by Brogsdale and an unidentified individual.. Brogsdale and the unidentified male robbed the victims. As the four victims attempted to flee, Brogsdale, who was then 16 years old, open fire on the group fatally wounding Williams.
Marquise Hawkins,22, who was in the car from which Brogsdale exited just prior to the murder/robbery, was convicted by a jury and sentenced to 55 years in state prison. Haroon Perry, 25, of Irvington pled guilty to aggravated manslaughter and is expected to be sentenced to 20 years under the terms of a plea agreement.
Sentencing for Brogsdale is scheduled for March 31, before Judge Cifelli. Brogsdale faces 30 years to life when he is sentenced.