An Atlantic City man involved in a fatal gas station robbery when he was 16 was sentenced to 25 years in prison Friday.
Darrick Hudson, 22, admitted in October that he and a co-conspirator were inside the mini-mart at the AAR Gas station when owner Makhan Singh, 47, was fatally shot March 9, 2007.
Hudson said he picked up the gun after it was fired and dropped, so that it wouldn’t be used as evidence. He did not name the person who shot the gun.
Under the plea agreement, Superior Court Judge Bernard DeLury sentenced Hudson to 25 years in prison. He must serve at least 85 percent of that. He has already served 5¾ years, meaning he could be free before his 38th birthday.
“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,” Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa said in a release. “Justice demanded that he receive this lengthy prison sentence.”
The state Attorney General’s Office prosecuted the case because of a conflict with then-Atlantic County Prosecutor Ted Housel.
Three teens allegedly robbed the store that night, but the third teen has never been identified or charged. Hudson’s friend, Nasir Salaam, 22, previously admitted to holding up gas station attendant Tanzi Zepa while Hudson and another teen — who he previously identified as Basir Biggins — were inside the market.
In a taped confession, Salaam said Hudson told him that Biggins went crazy inside the store and ended up shooting Singh. When he heard the shot, Salaam said he panicked and wounded Zepa.
But Biggins was not at the scene, according to his plea. He admitted only to providing a loaded gun to Salaam and Hudson, and is serving a 12-year sentence. He is eligible for parole in 2017, when he will be 27.
Hudson pleaded guilty in October, just as jury selection was about to begin in his trial.
“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,” Division of Criminal Justice Director Stephen J. Taylor said in a release.
Two other co-defendants, Gina McCrosson and Tyler Hart — who drove the teens to the gas station — pleaded guilty in January 2009 to conspiracy to possess cocaine and hindering apprehension.
Hart was sentenced to eight years. McCrosson, who was expected to testify at trial, remains free pending sentencing.
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