ELIZABETH, NJ — A Union County jury has returned guilty verdicts against a man responsible for an afternoon carjacking on Minisink Way in 2014, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Thursday.
Lamar Randleman, 28, of Newark was convicted on charges of first-degree carjacking and third-degree theft following a two-and-a-half-week trial before state Superior Court Judge Robert Kirsch and several hours of jury deliberations, the prosecutor's office said.
At about 1 p.m. on Monday, March 31, 2014, the victim, a then-62-year-old woman, arrived at her home and was approached in her driveway by an unknown man, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Jessica Guarducci, who prosecuted the case. Following a brief struggle during which the woman was shoved to the ground, the man, later identified as Randleman, took the keys to the victim’s Lexus SUV and drove away, Guarducci said.
A neighbor who had heard the victim screaming looked outside, saw what was going on and got into his own vehicle to follow Randleman for a short distance, calling 911, according to a joint investigation by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, the Westfield Police Department and the Mountainside Police Department.
According to the prosecutor’s office, Randleman drove a short distance east and parked the Lexus in a lot off of an exit ramp for Route 22 in Mountainside. Immediately thereafter, a Mountainside police officer responding to the area spotted the Randleman and started chasing him on foot until Randleman reached a nearby gas station and quickly entered a second vehicle that was being driven by 27-year-old Cavaan Hinson, also of Newark.
Following a brief police pursuit, that vehicle crashed at the corner of Orchard and New Providence roads in Mountainside and Randleman and Hinson were taken into custody without further incident, according to the prosecutor’s office.
The carjacking victim was not seriously injured, nor were either of the two defendants, the prosecutor’s office said, and the Mountainside officer who had been pursuing Randleman was taken to a local hospital for treatment of a leg injury.
The case against Hinson remains pending trial. Sentencing for Randleman has been scheduled for Friday, June 23, before Judge Kirsch.