NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On May 8, Roland E. Amos, age 44, was sentenced to up to 80 years in state prison for fatally shooting his nex-door neighbor in 2014.
After a hung jury in his first trial, Amost was found guilty of murder, hindering his own apprehension and weapons charges by a jury earlier this year.
Amos' victim, 43-year-old Brian A. Hoey, died in the arm's of his girlfriend and eight-year-old daughter before help could arrive at the Belcourt Townhomes in North Brunswick.
"Where's your smug look now?" Hoey's father Mel Kanter told Amos during his remarks before the sentencing judge, according to NJ.com's Craig McCarthy.
"Anything less than [a life sentence] is not enough for us," Hoey's girlfriend Parul Parikh told McCarthy.
But Superior Court Judge Dennis Nieves instead sentenced Amos to least 40 years in prison before he can be eligible for parole, part of a total sentence of up to 80 years.
A five-year mandatory term was included in the sentencing, according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO) because Amos had been previously been convicted of weapons offenses in prior, unrelated cases.
As we reported, Amos had pled guilty to a felony count of distributing crack cocaine, and was thus prevented from possessing a weapon under New Jersey law.
The second trial began on January 18, and pitted Assistant Prosecutors Christine D’Elia and Fabrice Charles against Public Defenders Adam Axel and Melissa Karabalut.
The defense motioned to have the conviction thrown out, according to McCarthy's coverage, in part because the prosecution could not produce a murder weapon or a witness to the killing.
But the circumstantial case was reportedly bolstered by threats Amos made to his girlfriend as the investigation zeroed in on him, and Nieves ultimately denied the motion.
The "intensive month-long investigation" was led by Detective Robert Powell of the North Brunswick Police Department and MCPO Detective Gregory Morris.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate and a community organizer, and an independent candidate for Mayor of New Brunswick.