Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens, II, announced today that Jose Rivera, 58, of Belleville was convicted by an Essex County jury of second-degreerobbery following a trial before the Honorable Patrick J. Arre.
“The verdict serves as justice for the victim in this case as well as all local business owners and their employees,’’ said Assistant Prosecutor Brianne Cunningham, who handled the case.
On Sept. 18, 2021, Rivera entered a gas station on Pennsylvania Avenue in Newark with another individual. Rivera used force to demand the gas station attendant hand over all the money he had on him. The gas station attendant, who was alone, did not resist. He gave Rivera $850 in cash.
Rivera took the money and fled scene. The second suspect was never identified.
The jury deliberated for two hours before returning a guilty verdict.
Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 9 before Judge Arre.
Second degree robbery ordinarily carries a five-to-ten-year sentence. In this case, the state will be seeking an extended sentence because the defendant has 17 prior convictions. If granted, he could face up to 20 years in New Jersey State Prison.