A Newark man pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter in the death of another city man outside an illegal gambling parlor two years ago, the Essex County Prosecutor's Office said Thursday.
Robert Steele, 27, and 28-year-old Hydee Wryce were both placing bets at the parlor, in the 100 block of Littleton Avenue, on the morning of Oct. 29, 2017.
Wryce was inside his vehicle, which was parked in front of the parlor, when Steele went to his car parked nearby, got a gun, and put it in the front pocket of his hooded sweatshirt.
Steele approached the passenger side of Wrcye's car, spoke with him briefly and shook hands with him through the window. Steele then pulled the gun and opened fire at close range. Steele ran back to his car and sped off.
Witness accounts and surveillance video helped authorities identify Steele as the suspect. Distinctive clothing found at the home of Steele's girlfriend, along with DNA evidence and ammunition, also linked Steele to the killing, prosecutors said.
Under his plea deal Steele agreed to a sentence of 25 years, of which he must serve at least 85 percent before becoming eligible for parole.
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