Newark – Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino announced today that an Essex County jury has convicted Gregory Bentley, 24, of attempted murder, robbery, aggravated assault, conspiracy and weapons charges following a trial before the Honorable Marysol Rosero, Judge of the Superior Court.
According to Assistant Prosecutor Austin Edwards, who tried the case, on Jan. 18, 2016, Bentley, who has lived in Newark and Irvington, and three unindicted co-conspirators forced their way into the Top Dog variety store on Clinton Avenue in Newark.
They tried to rob the store clerk and his friend at gunpoint and fired multiple shots at both victims.
The defendant eventually forced his way into the back office where he shot the store clerk 15 times, several of those being inflicted as he stood over the victim who lay wounded and bleeding on the floor.
The store clerk was hospitalized for three months, underwent numerous surgeries and survived.
“This was a brutal attack and it was nothing short of a miracle that the victim survived 15 gunshot wounds. We will be seeking a significant prison sentence as is necessary with this sort of senseless violence,” said Assistant Prosecutor Edwards.
Bentley was identified because he got trapped inside the store because there was no rear exit. Surveillance video captured the shooting.
After the victim regained consciousness, he indicated that he was familiar with Bentley, regular a customer. The victim identified him as the primary actor in the robbery and shooting.
Bentley, who was convicted of attempted murder, first degree robbery, second degree aggravated assault, second degree burglary, second degree unlawful possession of handgun, second degree robbery and second degree conspiracy, faces 30 years in New Jersey State Prison when he is sentenced.
Sentencing is scheduled for July 13 before Judge Rosero.