An Atlantic City man was sentenced to 25 years in state prison for his role in an armed robbery that resulted in the death of a White Horse Pike gas station owner in 2007, Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced on Friday afternoon, Jan. 4.
Darrick Hudson, 22, plead guilty to aggravated manslaughter, robbery, and hindering apprehension or prosecution for his part in the March 9, 2007 shooting death of AAR gas station and mini-mart owner Makhan Singh in October. An attendant was also wounded in the course of a robbery, according to Chiesa.
Hudson admitted a co-conspirator’s reckless discharge of the gun resulted in Singh’s death, but that when the co-conspirator dropped the gun inside the mini-mart, Hudson retrieved it to prevent authorities from discovering it.
The 25-year sentence for Hudson includes 21 years of parole ineligibility under the No Early Release Act, Chiesa said.
“Because he acted as an accomplice in this violent robbery, this defendant shares responsibility for the senseless murder of Mr. Singh, who was a husband and father,” Chiesa said in a statement issued on Friday. “Justice demanded that he receive this lengthy prison sentence.”
“Four defendants have now been sentenced to prison for this homicide – including one who was sentenced to 40 years in prison – and a fifth defendant is awaiting sentencing,” Director of the Division of Criminal Justice Stephen J. Taylor said. “These successful prosecutions resulted from the skillful and devoted efforts of members of the Division of Criminal Justice, Atlantic City Police Department and Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, who were determined to see justice done.”
On Oct. 15, 2010, Nasir Salaam, 22, of Galloway Township, was sentenced to 40 years in state prison, including 30 years without possibility of parole, Chiesa said. He plead guilty to felony murder in August of that year as he was about to go to trial for a second time, Chiesa said. He had already been convicted at trial in May, 2009 of charges related to the robbery, as well as conspiracy to distribute cocaine, but the jury failed to reach a verdict on the felony murder charge, according to Chiesa.
Salaam, Hudson and Basir Biggins, 22, of Atlantic City, were all teenagers when they committed armed robbery.
Salaam admitted that he used one of the handguns to demand money from two of attendants in the gas station while Hudson and another defendant were in the mini-mart robbing Singh at gunpoint, Chiesa said. After hearing gunfire in the mini-mart, Salaam admitted he shot and wounded Zepa, who was tryung to flee, Chiesa said. Salaam also admitted to firing two shots at the mini-mart, Chiesa said.
Two other teenagers, Gina McCrosson and Tyler Hart, drove them to the gas station, Chiesa said. They plead guilty in January, 2009 to conspiracy to possess cocaine and hindering apprehension, in exchange for recommended sentences of eight years in prison, Chiesa said. Hart was sentenced on March 26, 2010, while McCrosson awaits sentencing, Chiesa said.
Deputy Attorney General Kerry DiJoseph took Hudson's guilty plea for the Division of Criminal Justice, Chiesa said. The case was investigated by the Atlantic City Police Department, Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office and Division of Criminal Justice, according to Chiesa.