NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Shareef Holder, a 29-year-old city resident, pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter and heroin possession, with intent to distribute it.
Holder took a bad situation and made it worse when he crashed into a car on Van Dyke Avenue and then tried to drive away from the scene.
The initial crash happened between 9pm an 10pm on September 28, 2013. What happened next ended up taking an innocent person's life and damaging several more vehicles.
New Brunswick police officers attempted to pull Holder's vehicle over on Jersey Avenue shortly after the first crash, but Holder took off in his car at a high speed, according to police.
Police radio transmissions reveal that the chase lasted quite some time, leading officers onto Route 1 and through the neighboring community of North Brunswick, before heading back into New Brunswick.
Holder's 2001 Mercedes struck three more vehicles during the chase, which proved to be fatal.
Eventually, Holder made it to the vicinity of Huron Road in North Brunswick, located just off of Jersey Avenue, where his vehicle struck a 1995 Honda Civic driven by Luis Rodriguez.
Rodriguez, a 22-year-old resident of Somerset, died shortly after the resulting collision.
With Holder at the wheel, his Mercedes also crashed into a 2003 General Motors Sierra pickup truck and a 2003 Chevy Ventura.
Both the truck and the Ventura were in front of the Rodriguez's Civic. Each had two people inside, and nobody aboard those vehicles was hurt.
Authorities say that they discovered "948 glassine envelopes of heroin and 25 small baggies of marijuana," in Holder's vehicle.
Under the terms of an agreement reached with the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office, the defendant will be sentenced to serve up to 21 years in a New Jersey state prison and must serve 85 percent of the term before he can be eligible for parole.
Charges of vehicular homicide and eluding police were dropped.
Holder remains in custody and is scheduled to be sentenced on February 27, 2015 by Superior Court Judge Barry Weisberg.