Jury Reviewing Case Against Galloway Man Accused Of Throwing Baby Off Bridge
Jury began deliberations on Tuesday
A jury began deliberating Tuesday the fate of a Galloway man charged with throwing his 3-month-old daughter off a bridge into the Raritan River, The Star-Ledger reported.
The jurors were sent home Friday afternoon about 3:40 p.m. after Superior Court Judge Bradley Ferencz finished giving them an explanation of the charges and the law in the case of Shamsiddin Abdur-Raheem, 24, according to The Star-Ledger.
The defense attorneys for Abdur-Raheem, who allegedly threw his infant daughter, Zara, from the Driscoll Bridge on the Garden State Parkway, were scheduled to give their summations at 10 a.m. on Friday, according to a release from New Jersey Office of the Attorney General.
On Thursday, Abdur-Raheem testified and admitted he threw the infant into the river, claiming that she appeared dead before he threw her.
Abdur-Raheem is charged with murder, kidnapping and endangering the welfare of a child.
He is also charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault for allegedly attacking the baby’s maternal grandmother and striking her with his vehicle while abducting the infant from the grandmother’s apartment in East Orange.
Abdur-Raheem has been jailed on more than $2 million bail.
Prosecutors say the man abducted the 3-month-old from her grandmother’s East Orange home on Feb. 16, 2010. He assaulted the 60-year-old grandmother and ran her down with a van as he made off with the infant.
Abdur-Raheem, then 21, then drove to the Driscoll Bridge. The baby’s body was found April 24, 2010.
The crime occurred, authorities said, as Zara’s mother was in court seeking a restraining order against Abdur-Raheem.
Grand jurors indicted Abdur-Raheem on six counts in August 2010. (Click on the PDF, right, to view the indictment.)
Abdur-Raheem and the baby’s mother, Venetta Benjamin, were both students at Richard Stockton College, where they met. He was a criminal justice major, and she graduated with an economics degree in 2009.