Former Newark Officer Sentenced To State Prison In Shooting Death During Pursuit

A former Newark police officer who shot and killed a driver during a pursuit and critically injured his passenger was sentenced to 27 years in New Jersey State Prison.

Jovanny Crespo.

Jovanny Crespo.

Photo Credit: Essex County Jail

Jovanny Crespo, 30, must serve 85 percent of his sentence before he's eligible for parole. Essex County Superior Court Judge Michael L. Ravin Jr. imposed the sentence under the No Early Release Act.

Crespo was convicted in July 2023 on six counts of first-degree aggravated manslaughter in the death of 46-year-old Gregory Griffin, and second-degree aggravated assault for critically wounding Griffin's passenger, Andrew Dixon, 35. He was also convicted of two counts of second-degree official misconduct, and two counts of second-degree possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose.

According to First Assistant Prosecutor Alexander Albu, Crespo fired a total of seven times at the victims on three different occasions while Griffin fled from police in his car. Griffin was shot in the back of the head and killed. 

Dixon, the front seat passenger, was also shot in the head and critically wounded, but survived and died later for unrelated reasons.

“We hope this sentence will reinforce that no one is above the law," Abu said. "While the vast majority of our police officers work tirelessly each day to protect and serve the public, the defendant’s actions in this case undermined the immense trust that the public places in law enforcement officers.’"

to follow Daily Voice Essex and receive free news updates.