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In Cold Blood: Paterson Dealer Gets 40 Years For Killing NY Buyer, Wounding Companion

Zamaire Barden
Zamaire Barden Photo Credit: MUGSHOT: Courtesy PASSAIC COUNTY PROSECUTOR

A 22-year-old Paterson man who shot a New York State drug buyer dead and pumped four bullets into a woman who was with him will be in his 60s before he’ll be eligible for parole after being sentenced Friday.

Jurors in September 2018 convicted Zamaire Barden of murder, attempted murder and weapons offenses following a trial in Paterson that lasted nearly a week.

Barden, who was 17 at the time, sold drugs to Dennis Gillespie of Warwick in April 2015, Senior Assistant Prosecutor Allan Nawrocki told the jury.

After contacting him for more, Gillespie returned the next day with Rachel Knight, Nawrocki said.

Once they got to Paterson, Barden told Gillespie to drive to Fulton and Carroll streets and wait, the prosecutor told jurors.

Barden first walked past their car, then returned and shot Gillespie in the head and neck he said.

He then shot Knight, Nawrocki said.

Gillespie was pronounced dead at the scene. Knight survived her injuries.

Superior Court Judge Scott J. Bennion sentenced Barden on Friday to 30 years without parole for Gillespie’s murder. He sentenced Barden to an additional 10 years – 85% of which he must serve -- for the attempted murder of Knight.

An additional five years for the weapons offenses will be served concurrently, the judge ordered.

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