Three young men charged in 2010 with the death of Abelino Mazariego, a 47-year-old Summit resident, pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter in the case, said Union County Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow.
According to a press release from the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, the young men who pled guilty before Superior Court Judge Stuart Peim are:
- Nigel Dumas, a Morristown resident born on April 17, 1991
- Khayri Williams-Clark, a Summit resident born on Jan. 7, 1992
- Hakean Fitzgerald, a Summit resident born on June 12, 1993
According to the release, Fitzgerald was previously charged as a minor. However,
Under the terms of the pleas each man accepted, Fitzgerald faces 18 years in prison while Dumas and Williams-Clark each face 15 years in prison, according to the release. Sentencing is scheduled for Mar. 8, 2013.
During a July 30, 2011 press conference, Romankow said that on the night of July 17, a 17-year-old and a 15-year-old served as lookouts while Williams-Clark, Dumas and Fitzgerald, who was an unidentified minor at the time, planned to rob Mazariego. A food-preparation worker and diswasher at Mazariego had just gotten off work and was relaxing on a park bench in Promenade Park on Springfield Avenue in downtown Summit.
Mazariego was drinking alcohol when the teens approached him, Romankow said. The teens then discovered that Mazariego had just cashed his paycheck and decided to rob him.
Romankow called it a “crime of opportunity.”
According to investigators, Williams-Clark stood behind Mazariego and held the victim's white T-shirt, which he had removed himself while lounging in the Promenade, over Mazariego's head while Fitzgerald, who was 17-years-old at the time, punched him with brutal force. Dumas then allegedly punched the victim a second time.
The attack was recorded on a cell phone by one of the individuals in the area, according to the 2013 press release.
The force of the blows knocked Mazariego unconscious and the teenagers then fled the scene, Romankow said.
Good Samaritans discovered the victim and contacted police, according to the 2013 release. After Mazariego was taken to Overlook hospital, doctors informed police that the victim was in a grave state but said there was no indication that a crime had taken place.
Several days later, a family friend of the victim reported that she had seen a video of the attack, according to the release. The family was told of the video and they contacted police on July 20, 2010, a few hours before Mazariego died.
— Heather Collura contributed to this report.