Newark Man Pleads Guilty to Killing East Orange Man

Newark – Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that Charles Puryear, 30, of Newark entered a guilty plea today before the Honorable Michael L. Ravin, Judge of the Superior Court, for killing Jackie Pena, 21, of East Orange on November 25, 2011.

Assistant Prosecutor Adam B. Wells, who handled the case, said Puryear pled guilty to one count of aggravated manslaughter and one count of unlawful possession of a handgun. Puryear also admitted committing two other robberies of juveniles on Nov. 26, 2011 in Newark.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, the defendant is expected to be sentenced to 25 years in New Jersey State Prison pursuant to the No Early Release Act.

"This was a senseless killing of an innocent young man. This guilty plea in exchange for a 25 year term will keep his killer incapacitated for a very long time," said Assistant Prosecutor Wells.

Sentencing is scheduled for May 2.

Today, Puryear admitted approaching the group of men, pulling a handgun and fatally shooting Pena.
Pena was fatally shot on Nov. 25, 2011 as he stood outside with several other men on Smith Street in Newark.

In addition to his Essex County charges, Puryear has remaining charges related to a home invasion robbery in Wantage, Sussex County. He has not been tried on those charges and is presumed innocent unless and until he is convicted in a court of law or enters a guilty plea.