By: Richard L. Smith
On Friday, January 26, 2024, a Newark resident, Darius Easterling, 31, was sentenced to eight years in state prison following the fatal shooting of 31-year-old Steven Zimmerman in Hillside.The sentence was announced by Union County Prosecutor William A. Daniel and Hillside Police Department Officer in Charge Lashonda Burgess-Mason.
Union County Superior Court Judge Regina Caulfield handed down the sentence, convicting Easterling of 2nd degree Manslaughter.
Easterling is required to serve at least 85% of the sentence before he is eligible for parole.
The incident occurred on the evening of July 22, 2021, when Hillside Police Department officers responded to a report on the 1400 block of North Broad Street.
They found Zimmerman with a fatal gunshot wound. The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Desimone, with significant contributions from Homicide Task Force Detective Nora Berrio.
Prosecutor Daniel expressed his gratitude for the diligent work of the prosecution team and voiced hope that the sentencing would provide some measure of solace to those grieving the loss of Mr. Zimmerman.