Newark – Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced that an Essex County jury today convicted Luis Pacheco, 32, of Newark and Paterson, of first degree attempted murder, first degree robbery, terroristic threats, endangering the welfare of a child and criminal restraint following a trial before the Honorable John Gizzo, Judge of the Superior Court.
Assistant Prosecutor Jason Alterbaum, who tried the case, said Pacheco attacked the victim, a grandmother, as her two-year old grandson looked on, crying and screaming.
The attack occurred in a jewelry store/pawn shop on Broad Street in Newark in mid-afternoon on Aug. 22, 2014. The victim had left the store to go next door to buy her grandson candy. When she returned, Pacheco cornered her, strangled her, tried to snap her neck, dragged her from room to room and repeatedly punched her in the face. Throughout the attack Pacheco told the victim to “die,’’ even as she begged for her life.
Eventually, Pacheco fled with about $500 cash and other items but he left behind a glass pipe. His DNA would later be found on the pipe. “The victim in this case showed extraordinary courage and strength both in the way she handled herself during the attack and her willingness to come forward and testify at trial. Her strength and resolve is nothing short of remarkable in this case in which the defendant displayed a callous disregard for her life and the well-being of her young grandson,’’ said Assistant Prosecutor Alterbaum.
Sentencing is scheduled for May 8. Pacheco has eight prior felony convictions. Because of his extensive criminal record, he is eligible for an extended prison term when he is sentenced, said Assistant Prosecutor Alterbaum. He faces up to life in prison.