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UPDATE: Four Face Murder Charges In Carjack-Killing Of Toms River Native

Four charged in death of Toms River North graduate, Hoboken attorney last Sunday night.

Three Newark men and an Irvington man were charged in the fatal carjacking at the Short Hills mall on Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013 (Photo: Melinda Stevens/Patch)
Three Newark men and an Irvington man were charged in the fatal carjacking at the Short Hills mall on Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013 (Photo: Melinda Stevens/Patch)
Written By Mike Pignataro and Melinda Stevens

Four Essex County men have been charged in the carjack-killing of a Toms River native at The Mall at Short Hills last weekend, the Essex County Prosecutor's Office has announced.

Hanif Thompson, 29, of Irvington, and Newark residents Karif Ford, 31, Basim Henry, 32, and Kevin Roberts, 33, were each charged with murder, felony murder, carjacking, conspiracy, possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose. 

Dustin Friedland, 30, was shot in the head when he and his wife returned to their SUV in a parking deck shortly after 9 p.m. last Sunday. Friedland was pronounced dead at 11:45 p.m. that night at Morristown Medical Center. His wife, Jamie, who was uninjured, was also transported to the hospital.

Services for Friedland, a Toms River native and Toms River North graduate who lived in Hobokenwere held Wednesday in Lakewood.

The couple's Range Rover was the target—not Friedland—in the incident, Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray said at a Saturday morning press conference in Newark. Authorities declined to comment which man allegedly pulled the trigger.

The investigation revealed the four men were all in the parking lot the night of the killing with two leaving in the stolen SUV and the other two in the vehicle they arrived in, according to Murray.

The four men were arrested through a "combination of witnesses, statements, technology, old-fashioned police work and putting the pieces together," Murray said.

Murray declined to comment whether the four men were connected to a gang.

All four were arrested without incident between 9 p.m. Friday night and 3 a.m. Saturday. Bail was set at $2 million for each of the defendants and arraignments will be announced Sunday.

Henry was arrested by the FBI Task Force at a hotel in the Easton area in Pennsylvania, while the other three were apprehended at their homes, Murray said.

According to a manager of the Comfort Inn in Palmer Township, Pa., the FBI arrived at the hotel at about 1:15 a.m. Saturday, LehighValleyLive.com reported. The federal agents went to a room where a man and woman had been staying since Wednesday, the manager told the website.

Investigators examined mall tapes and searched behind a vacant, boarded-up house on Renner Avenue in Newark where the SUV was found this week and a $41,000 reward was offered for information that led to the capture the carjackers.

"There has been an epidemic of carjackings and so we formed a task force earlier this year combined with federal state, county and local forces and others to stop it and these arrests are a result of this effort," U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said.

At least three of the four men have criminal records, ranging from burglary to bank robbery, according to NJ.com. Now they each face life in prison if convicted for the killing of Friedland.

"Whether you live in Essex County—or anywhere in New Jersey—work here, go to school here, or are just passing through, you deserve safety," Fishman said. "You shouldn’t have to worry when you get in your car that someone is going to put a gun to your head. That is why we are working so closely with all levels of law enforcement to take these violent offenders off the streets and to make it clear these crimes will not be tolerated." 
Once Loved NJ December 21, 2013 at 06:59 PM
They should put contraceptives in the water in all the cities..
Alphonse December 21, 2013 at 08:47 PM
. Let the facts be known! Take Notice of Danger! Notice where these cold blooded sub humans were arrested, Notice who 'knocks out' innocent elderly folks just for fun, Notice who brings drug addiction and death into our once safe communities, Think of how and when this evil began and who has inspired hate against the Police, Women, and the degradation of our Cultural Heritage.
. December 21, 2013 at 09:28 PM
They don't deserve a trial....just death!
polly's dad December 21, 2013 at 10:10 PM
The Toms River PD should be commended for their sense of duty and sensitivity by keeping watch on the Friedland residence from a discreet distance, parked across the street, a short distance from the home since the day following the tragedy. The press and unwanted visitors have been discouraged from disturbing the family's privacy. I am proud to live in a community that has that kind of respect for their residents. Thank you Chief Mastronardy.
John December 21, 2013 at 10:13 PM
OMG... They are black? What a surprise. I was afraid to insinuate they may have been of color, I didn't want to be called a racist. Hmmmm ? Could this have Been a hate crime? Or you think they were jut out shopping and just thought the mall was a Range Rover dealership, Because they do look like upstanding citizens.
Hardieharr December 21, 2013 at 11:15 PM
Polly's dad, yes it is nice, but the truth is that they are not like others. Second the bail was set at 2 million that's more than the last cop killer. Ask your self why ? I wish they would have died in a shoot out , but that didn't happen. This is one part of the system letting everyone know if your not better off than they are you would not get the same courtesy
Barbara December 22, 2013 at 07:11 AM
I too wish nothing but peace and faith for the Friedland family and friends. I do wish to continue discussing the thugs that took this young man's life, because I don't want to fall victim to not feeling angry anytime something of this nature occurs. I do believe that you will find that they had multiple warrants for their aprehension for other crimes. This is what bothers me. You need full out take downs of these gangs or groups of thugs and start getting them locked up. Keep them off balance and scattered and not able to converge on the innocents. When things like this happen overseas, we immediately are told to help out with our young men and women. I want the same effort put forth here that we give other countries when they are being assaulted by their own. These are very violent times. We need to stay angry and be able to voice our opinions and concerns and maybe, just maybe some politician will make this their highest priority.
Pete Rizzuto December 22, 2013 at 07:31 AM
If the mall police did what they should have done, question 4 young black kids in Short Hills that looked like they were up to no good, a life probably would have been saved. But NO, that would have been "racial profiling" and the mall would have been sued, and they would have lost the law suit! Law enforcement should profile those who are most likely to commit a crime or an act of terror, no matter what color they are. Obama asked why women clutch their purse when a young black man walks onto an elevator, or why does a young black man hear car doors lock when he walks down the street? Read the papers and look at the statistics you idiot! I am NOT a racist either. I just have common sense. Enough with the "politically correct" garbage. Do what makes sense and is right. If they get offended, too bad.
proud December 22, 2013 at 07:57 AM
@Pete, you are a racist and a tyrant.
suz December 22, 2013 at 08:48 AM
Sorry Proud, but I have to agree with Pete on some points. It was a fact that the car was on surveillance for approximately one hour just riding around...no one (security) questioned them on what was their intention. It very well could of been because they were black and it would of been a racial profiling suit. As I had said before, it truly is a one way street...white people are the ones who are being the targets and people of color are getting away with murder because of the laws.
Shif December 22, 2013 at 09:03 AM
@ Prood. What you just came out of your stupor. Where have you been with your strange posts. Pete is just stating fact and if that makes him a racist, call everybody's statements racist. As I've told you before, go take a walk around Camden at dusk and I bet you'll become a racist. @ prood we're not racist, we're realist, blacks commit the most crime in America.
JIM COLETTO December 22, 2013 at 09:04 AM
Paul E Taylor Jr December 22, 2013 at 09:20 AM
Bet their mommas is really proud of them, low life POS from Newark
Linda Maloney December 22, 2013 at 09:32 AM
I understand everyones anger and frustration over this senseless killing of an innocent man. But this lynch mob mentality is not going to solve these problems. Do something about it! Go through the proper channels and start neighborhood watch groups (they have proven to be effective in many urban neighborhoods). We can't just yell and scream about these issues while we are sitting on our butts and doing nothing but yelling and screaming.
JFTR December 22, 2013 at 10:00 AM
Keep Black people out of ritzy white areas..only solution. And this isn't going to happen for reasons already mentioned.
Rem December 22, 2013 at 10:02 AM
Tell me this when you are burying your son. I belong to neighborhood watch for 8 years now and we have not stopped one murder yet. If you do not have a death penalty this will never change. And this kind of mentality shows that people have had enough no matter what color of the skin. When bad dogs bite they make sure they do not do it again.
Pete Rizzuto December 22, 2013 at 10:03 AM
To Proud: OMG, your comments are ignorant. I am absolutely not a racist or tyrant. Look at the facts and then talk...or act. In part because of attitudes like yours we are in the situation we're in, and why a 30 yr old innocent white man is dead. Here is some rational common sense: Study the statistics and TARGET those who are most likely to commit a crime or terrorist act, and profile them, whoever they are: white, black, hispanic, muslim, jewish, whatever. That's racist? Or is that just not "politically correct" today? This is done all the time in sales and marketing. You don't market snow tires in Miami Beach, get it? As for those 4 who shot the 30 yr old, give them "an eye for an eye". To Linda: I can only do so much. I vote in every election. As for neighborhood watch groups, do you really think that would work in Newark or Camden? Look what happened to George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case. Yeah maybe Zimmerman turned out to be a nut, but I wonder what would have happened if he didn't stop Martin that night.
polly's dad December 22, 2013 at 10:53 AM
An open Kwanzaa Greeting to Hanif, Karif, Basim and Kevin: May your Kwanzaa 2013 be filled with new friends and loved ones in your secure surroundings. Best wishes for this Kwanzaa and all the remaining holidays that you spend in cages for the rest of your miserable lives.
Exit82 December 22, 2013 at 11:14 AM
Oh my God, the suspects are black. Who would have thunk it?
1stcav December 22, 2013 at 11:38 AM
Proud: Facts are facts, sorry if that didn't fit into YOUR " Political Correctness " they investigated and found them, they just didn't pick four kids from the streets and charge them. It is what it is...today ! Like it or not that's society. Have and have knots and those who want what YOU have , but don't want to work for it, they just want to TAKE IT by force !!!!
grace December 22, 2013 at 11:54 AM
would have been proud to say he was my son...i am getting tired of this poor me race card entitlement party going on.. i wasnt invited because i am a regular tax paying citizen who just gets by trying not to hurt anyone....
grace December 22, 2013 at 12:02 PM
those guys will join a gang in prison if they arent in one already. will they be protected..? hoping not...@proud you know i am a fan of yours but pete does make a point..@ linda if that would only work.. i am afraid the legal and civilized ways arent working...
grace December 22, 2013 at 12:02 PM
and the thank you to mastro - really? please
proud December 22, 2013 at 12:07 PM
I could go on and on, but haven't the time. I will say that there is nothing illegal about being black-- or yellow or red or white for that matter. You folks will have to take that issue up with your maker. As for @1st , for you to suggest that I ama student of "political correctness" because I believe in Constitutional rights (specifically the fourth ammendment in this instance) is patently absurd. @suz, if in fact there was a security breach at the mall as you have offered, would you please tell me the color of the inept? Thank you. One more thing @Pete, before you start calling people ignorant, you should take a look at the definition of the term and how it parallels your comments regarding-- but not limited to--Zimmerman/Martin.
suz December 22, 2013 at 12:27 PM
Oh Proud...I know you are smart enough to know the answer to that question. I think most of us on this post are commenting due to frustration and, more so, angry with the s**t that has been going on in this country. Sorry...but I tend to believe that since Obama was elected, some feel empowered. Perhaps the wrong message was sent by electing a black president at this time.
proud December 22, 2013 at 12:40 PM
Obama would be a horror if he were purple. We've been chums for a long time @ suz, but I just can't get behind your thinking on this issue. Nor can I sit back and be maligned by some of the others on this thread that possess a third grade mentality. In any event, I hope you have a wonderful holiday season, if you celebrate such a thing.
suz December 22, 2013 at 01:12 PM
Thanks Proud...and you as well, Merry Christmas!
fed up December 22, 2013 at 02:06 PM
Call the cops whenever you see them in a place you know they don't belong (toms river). Its called suspicious person. If you call they have to respond. Maybe if they got confronted by police every time they stepped foot in TR. they would stay out. It works the same for whites. For example, If you walked into Newark or Camden and got your ass kicked or jumped every time, you would stop going there. Same idea, CALL THE COPS!!!
Richard J. Thomas December 22, 2013 at 06:05 PM
These are wild animals, nothing more. They should be treated as such
patch_reader December 22, 2013 at 09:35 PM
@ fed up. The oak ave crew would wouldn't be able to handle these creatures on a daily basis. Like dropping a hometown kid in an inner city.


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