By Allison Pries | firstname.lastname@example.org |
A Newark man is headed to prison for the rest of his life for killing the witness to a robbery he committed to keep the man from testifying against him.
Rick King, 34, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the killing of store clerk Amit Patel, 28, of Edison. Superior Court Judge Mark Ali also sentenced King on Friday to a consecutive 40-year sentence for the robbery.
A jury in December found King guilty of murder, witness tampering, armed robbery, aggravated assault on a police officer and weapons offenses.
Authorities say that on Feb. 15, 2015 King went to Roseway Liquors on Lyons Avenue and shot Patel in the head at point-blank range as he worked at the counter. He died at the scene.
Patel was the lone witness to a robbery King committed on Halloween 2013 at the same liquor store, owned by Patel’s father, and, authorities said, King killed him to keep him from implicating King in the robbery case.
The judge noted that King had 11 prior arrests and five felony convictions, including possession of an illegal weapon and drug possession.