June 23, 2017
Essex County Jury Convicts Belleville Man
Newark – Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino announced today that an Essex County jury has convicted Edwin Andujar, 53, of Belleville of murder for fatally stabbing his roommate Thomas Parent, 59, also of Belleville.
“This defendant brutally stabbed the victim 12 times as he sat defenseless in his wheelchair. It was an unthinkable, cowardly, intentional act,’’ said Assistant Prosecutor Michele Miller, who tried the case with Assistant Prosecutor Meredith Mona.
Following a trial before the Honorable Michael L. Ravin, Judge of the Superior Court, the jury convicted Andujar of first degree murder and weapons offenses. They rejected Andujar’s claim that he acted in self-defense when he stabbed Parent twelve times on Aug. 7, 2014.
“His claim of self-defense didn’t stand up against the facts, the evidence and even his own statements made at the time of the murder. We and the family are grateful the jury came to the same conclusion,’’ said Assistant Prosecutor Mona.
At trial Assistant Prosecutor Miller argued that Andujar, who was unemployed and living rent-free, became enraged when Parent told him he had to move. In his anger, he grabbed a steak knife and repeatedly stabbed Parent in his stomach, groin and back. At the time, Parent had just come home from a rehabilitation center and still needed a wheelchair.
Initially, Andujar was charged with attempted murder. On Aug. 12, 2014 the charges were upgraded to murder after Parent succumbed to his injuries. In addition to the murder charge, the jury also convicted Andujar of unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
Sentencing is scheduled for August 17. He faces 30 years to life in New Jersey State Prison. Andujar has one prior conviction for endangering the welfare of a child.
He is currently being held in the Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark.