Man Convicted of Maplewood Robbery
Newark – Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino announced today that an Essex County jury has convicted Andre Weekes, 25, of Maplewood of first degree armed robbery, following a trial before the Honorable Nancy Sivilli, Judge of the Superior Court.
According to Assistant Prosecutor Timothy Brown, who tried the case, the crime occurred on Feb. 5, 2016. Weekes flagged down a high school student in Maplewood who was skateboarding in the area of Jacoby Street and Boyden Avenue and asked if he could borrow the teen’s cellphone. Weekes claimed he was locked out of his house and needed to call his girlfriend. The teenager allowed him to make a phone call.
Weekes initially pretended to make a call but then put the phone in his pocket. Weekes then took out a knife and swung at the young man. The victim blocked the weapon with his arm and Weekes fled with the phone. The victim flagged down a car and asked the driver to phone the police. He also ran to a local beauty salon and asked employees there to call for help.
Soon after, Weekes was arrested at Stuyvesant Avenue and Coolidge Street. On May 17, a jury convicted Weekes of first degree robbery, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
When he is sentenced on June 29, he faces up to 20 years in New Jersey State Prison.
“This trial was about getting justice for the victim and today’s result was due in large part to his courage in coming forward. His quick action allowed the police to respond promptly and his willingness to cooperate led to the conviction of this defendant who poses a threat to the community,’’ said Assistant Prosecutor Brown.
Weekes has a second open robbery case pending. Those are accusations. He is presumed innocent of those charges unless and until he enters a guilty plea or is found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.