Man Found Guilty of Shooting Man Caught with Ex-Girlfriend

Newark – Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens, II, announced today that an Essex County jury has convicted Rahiym Washington, 31, of Newark of second-degree aggravated assault and weapons charges for shooting his friend and leaving him paralyzed after discovering the man in bed with his ex-girlfriend.

The jury rendered the verdict following a trial before the Honorable Arthur J. Batista, Judge of the Superior Court.

According to Assistant Prosecutor Austin Edwards, who tried the case, on April 5, 2018, Washington entered the ex-girlfriend’s home and found her in bed with his friend. Washington shot both the male friend, who he knew since childhood, and his ex-girlfriend.

The defendant was arrested the next day in his mother’s apartment and police recovered a handgun in the basement where the defendant was apprehended. The gun was a silver revolver with a black handle, which matched the description of the gun given by both victims.

The male victim was permanently paralyzed as a result of one of the gunshots that damaged his spinal cord. The female victim sustained a gunshot wound to the chest, but the wound was shallow and did not cause any lasting injuries.

The jury convicted Washington of aggravated assault for shooting the male but acquitted him of attempted murder and the charges related to the female victim.

In addition to aggravated assault, Washington was also found guilty of second-degree possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose.

“We were disappointed that the jury did not find this defendant guilty of the charges related to the female victim, since both victims testified and identified the defendant as the person who shot them. Still, we expect this defendant to be sentenced to a substantial prison term because he has four prior felony convictions making him eligible to be sentenced as a persistent offender,’’ said Assistant Prosecutor Edwards.

Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 9. Because of the defendant’s criminal history, the state will ask for a 20-year sentence in New Jersey State Prison.