A Belleville man has been convicted of second-degree robbery following a trial in Essex County, Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II said.
Stephens says on Sept. 18, 2021, Jose Rivera, 58, of Belleville, entered a gas station on Pennsylvania Avenue in Newark with another individual. Rivera used force to demand the gas station attendant hand over all the money he had on him. The gas station attendant, who was alone, did not resist and gave Rivera $850 in cash.
Rivera took the money and fled scene. The second suspect was never identified.
The jury deliberated for two hours July 12, 2022, before returning a guilty verdict.
Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 9. Second degree robbery ordinarily carries a 5-to-10-year sentence. In this case, the state will be seeking an extended sentence because the defendant has 17 prior convictions. If granted, he could face up to 20 years in New Jersey State Prison.
“The verdict serves as justice for the victim in this case as well as all local business owners and their employees,’’ Assistant Prosecutor Brianne Cunningham, who tried the case, said.
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