Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez said on Thursday, February 10, Joel Esquijarrosa, 44, of Harrison, pleaded guilty in connection with the August 24, 2007 murder of Rafael Angel Aguero Espinoza in Jersey City.
According to Prosecutor Suarez, Esquijarrosa pleaded guilty to Aggravated Manslaughter.
The State will be recommending a sentence of 18 years in New Jersey State Prison subject to the No Early Release Act. Sentencing is scheduled before the Honorable Vincent J. Militello, J.S.C. on Friday, April 8, 2022.
On Friday, August 24, 2007, Rafael Angel Aguero Espinoza, 50, was found dead inside the cabin of his tractor trailer, which was parked on Senate Place and Van Winkle Avenue in Jersey City.
The cause of death was later determined to be multiple stab wounds and the manner of death to be homicide.
The investigation revealed the homicide was committed during the commission of a robbery.
On Monday, February 3, 2020, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office was contacted by the Harrison Police Department after Esquijarrosa was arrested in that jurisdiction on criminal mischief charges.
Based on an investigation conducted by the Prosecutor’s Office Cold Case Unit, Esquijarrosa was charged in connection with the 2007 murder.