Hillside man sentenced to life for fatally shooting wife in front of children

A Hillside man who fatally shot his wife in front of their two young children on the steps of the Elizabeth YWCA a little more than five years ago has been sentenced to life in state prison, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Friday.

Ewart Guillette, 36, was sentenced by state Superior Court Judge Stuart Peim. Guillette had been convicted of murder, related weapons offenses, endangering the welfare of a child, and criminal contempt after several hours of jury deliberation spread across two days following a three-week trial that concluded in October.

It was approximately 8 p.m. on August 30, 2010 when Guillette approached 38-year-old Stacey Guillette as she and their two children, then ages 6 and 8, were visiting the YWCA Union County building on East Jersey Street in Elizabeth.

Guillette fired at his estranged wife 16 times, emptying one handgun of bullets before producing another and emptying it as well. Stacey Guillette was rushed to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead, while a fast-moving Union County Homicide Task Force investigation quickly identified Guillette as a suspect.

Immediately following the shooting, Guillette fled to Philadelphia, where he was located and arrested by law enforcement hours later. He remained jailed on $2.5 million bail until his trial began.

Guillette’s son, now 13, and the victim’s brother, sister, and stepfather read emotional statements into the record before Peim imposed the maximum term allowable by law.

“There is no crime more heinous or depraved than this,” Lawlor said in arguing for that term. “Those two children witnessed what no children should ever have to see.”