JERSEY CITY –
More than seven years after he killed a Kearny jeweler during a robbery, a Bloomfield man is to learn his fate next month.
John DeRosa, 58, faces sentencing Jan. 6 before Hudson County Superior Court Judge Patrick Arre, sitting in Jersey City, according to Raymond Worrall, spokesman for the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office.
On Oct. 27, a jury found DeRosa guilty of the fatal shooting of Xavier Egoavil, 47, a Kearny resident who owned Rachel Jewelers, 142 Kearny Ave., on Aug. 18, 2009.
It took the jurors just two hours to return their verdict against DeRosa. He’d been previously indicted by a county grand jury for murder, felony murder, armed robbery and weapons charges on June 29, 2010.
Assistant Hudson County Prosecutor Leo Rinaldi, who presented the state’s case against DeRosa, is “still formulating what the state will be asking for” in terms of length of jail time, Worrall said.
DeRosa faces anywhere from 30 years to life in prison for his crime.
Two of DeRosa’s co-defendants – Elvis Feratovic, 30, and Edmir Sokoli, 29, both of Bloomfield – are also expected to be sentenced the same day as DeRosa, Worrall said. After both agreed to turn state’s evidence, in April 2010, each pleaded guilty to armed robbery. Each faces up to 20 years behind bars.
The state’s sentencing proposal for the pair will be made by Homicide Chief/Assistant Prosecutor Michael D’Andrea, Worrall said.
Before committing the crime in Kearny, DeRosa had already served a 14-year stretch in prison, after his conviction in 1987 for his role in a 1980 murder in Essex County.
At the trial, testimony by Feratovic and Sokoli helped the state make their case.
As reported in the media, Feratovic told the court that on the morning of the robbery, he drove Sokoli to Kearny to meet DeRosa who was parked near the jewelry store.
He testified that they circled the block twice before Sokoli and DeRosa emerged from his BMW and entered Rachel Jewelers. Sokoli and DeRosa were wearing fake beards and wigs and DeRosa had a gun, he told the court.
Sokoli testified that once inside the store, DeRosa announced a robbery to Egoavil and Egoavil’s mother. He told the court that while he was stuffing jewelry into a trash bag, Egoavil – the father of two – became aggressive and DeRosa shot him several times.
The victim’s mother gave corroborating testimony about the shooting.
Sokoli went on to say that, after the shooting, he and DeRosa ran out of the store. Sokoli said he jumped into Feratovic’s BMW, parked around the corner from the store, followed by an out-of-breath DeRosa who, he reported, said, “I had to shoot him.’’
Sokoli said he then grabbed the gun from DeRosa and put it in the front of the vehicle.
Ferratovic and Sokoli testified that after they dropped off DeRosa with the stolen jewelry at his SUV, the duo then fled in the BMW.
Feratovic also testified that it was DeRosa who planned the robbery and enlisted himself and Sokoli, both of whom worked security at a Newark club, as accomplices.
More damaging testimony was provided by Marissa Fuzio, DeRosa’s ex-girlfriend, who recounted for the court how, on the day of the murder, DeRosa came home with a bagful of jewelry and told her he’d shot a man while robbing a jewelry store.
Asst. Prosecutor Rinaldi introduced as evidence tapes from surveillance cameras at various locations showing the movements of the getaway car and DeRosa’s SUV that bolstered his case.
As the post-crime investigation proceeded, a big break came when Kearny PD were tipped off that Feratovic’s BMW was being worked on at a Passaic County auto repair shop to alter its appearance.
That information, police said, ultimately led to the arrests of the three suspects.
All three remain in Hudson County Jail: DeRosa is being held on $2 million cash bail; Sololi and Feratovic are each detained on $750,000 cash bail.