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Suspects Charged In Killing Of Young Lawyer At New Jersey Mall Due In Court

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From left: Karif Ford, Kevin Roberts, Hanif Thompson, Besim Henry. (NJDOC) | NJDOC

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Four men charged in the fatal carjacking of a young lawyer at an upscale New Jersey mall just before Christmas were due in court Wednesday for arraignment.

Twenty-nine year-old Hanif Thompson of Irvington and Newark residents Karif Ford, 31, Basim Henry, 32, and Kevin Roberts, 33, are accused in the Dec. 15 carjacking and killing of Dustin Friedland outside The Mall at Short Hills.

Authorities say the 30-year-old lawyer from Hoboken was killed while returning to his car in the mall parking garage with his wife after a shopping trip. The carjackers confronted the couple and Friedland was shot in the head, authorities said. His wife was unharmed. The assailants drove off in the couple's silver Range Rover, which was found the next morning in Newark, about 10 miles from Short Hills. Prosecutors have said the couple was targeted solely because of the make of their vehicle.

The four men face charges of murder, felony murder, carjacking, conspiracy, possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose. They have been in custody on $2 million bail each since their arrests about a week after the shooting.

It was not immediately clear who would be representing them at their arraignments in state Superior Court in Newark.

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray said the "sheer senselessness" of the crime outraged residents and led to tips pouring in from across Essex County, whose borders encompass crime-plagued Newark to the east, and Short Hills and other affluent suburbs to the west.

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