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Do-Over: Jury Again Convicts Newark Man Of Murdering Aspiring Police Officer In Lyndhurst

Fernando Carrero Jr. at his 2013 sentencing
Fernando Carrero Jr. at his 2013 sentencing Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia

A Newark man who got a retrial after he was found guilty of killing an aspiring police officer in Lyndhurst was convicted again on Friday.

The state Supreme Court had given Fernando Carrero a reprieve when it dismissed his original 2013 conviction.

A new jury in state Superior Court in Hackensack found him guilty Friday of first-degree murder, hindering and weapons counts -- same as the first time -- following a three-week trial.

All that’s left now is a scheduled March 30 sentencing, unless there is another appeal.

Carrero was 17 when he gunned down 21-year-old Jose Hall in cold blood in Carrero’s former girlfriend’s Lyndhurst kitchen on Nov. 6, 2007, prosecutors said.

Now 30, he could be sent to prison for life.

Prosecutors told jurors in both trials that Carrero was jealous that his girlfriend’s ex-lover, Corey Hicks, was still living in her parents’ house with her.

So he went there with a loaded .357 Magnum and ran into Hall, who was Hicks’s best friend, they said.

An argument ensued and Hall was shot.

Shortly after midnight, police were called and the mortally wounded Hall was rushed to a nearby hospital.

Hall — who had just applied to become a Newark police officer, following in his father’s footsteps – was taken off life support less than two days later.

Police said they found the handgun wrapped in a plastic bag at a friend’s home in Orange, where they said Carrero had fled.

Both trials relied strongly on the credibility of Carrero’s then-girlfriend, Kerrilynn Lowenstein, who was there during the shooting at her parents’ Second Avenue home.

Lowenstein testified both times that she heard the first shot ring out in the family kitchen and ran in to find Hall in a fetal position on his back. Carrero was standing over him, she said.

Lowenstein said she tried to take the gun but that Carrero aimed it at Hall’s head and pulled the trigger.

The defense claimed the gun went off during a struggle.

Carrero originally was charged as a juvenile.

At first, he pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter and hindering charges offered by prosecutors in adult criminal court rather than stand trial for murder.

He later convinced a judge to revoke the plea, contending that his lawyer at the time misled him about the likely sentence for “copping out.”

Any opportunity for another plea vanished after that.

The victim: Jose Hall

Mary K. Miraglia

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