Elizabeth man convicted of aggravated manslaughter

A Union County jury has returned guilty verdicts against the Elizabeth man who assaulted and then fatally injured a livery driver following an argument over a dinged car in the parking lot of a local strip mall last year, acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan announced Friday.

Emmanuel John, 33, was convicted of first-degree aggravated manslaughter, second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, and second-degree leaving the scene of a fatal accident following jury deliberations spread over two days and a nearly month-long trial before state Superior Court Judge William A. Daniel.

At approximately 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 15, 2017, Elizabeth Police Department patrol units responded to the strip mall on U.S. Routes 1&9 North near Woodruff Lane in Elizabeth to find 45-year-old ImranMasood of the Avenel section of Woodbridge unconscious and suffering from a severe head injury, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Armando Suarez, who prosecuted the case.

Masood was transported to University Hospital in Newark for emergency treatment, but never regained consciousness, Suarez said; he was pronounced dead at approximately 7:15 p.m. on Thursday, August 3, 2017.

An investigation by the Elizabeth Police Department revealed that an argument between the defendant and victim over a dinged car door quickly escalated to violence, with John striking Masood numeroustimes through his livery cab’s open driver’s-side car door window, attempting to pull him out of the car, and striking him with the vehicle’s door. After being assaulted, Masood got out of his vehicle and went to take a photo of John’s rear license plate with his cell phone camera, at which time John threw his BMW two-door coupe in reverse, striking Masood and throwing him to the ground. John then left the scene without checking on Masood or calling for medical assistance – two points he admitted when he took the stand during the trial, which featured multiple video replays of the incident caught on surveillance camera footage.

John was arrested within a matter of days and lodged in Union County Jail. The endangering charge was filed because John’s 16-month-old son was in the back seat of his BMW when the incident took place.  

Sentencing in the case has been scheduled for Friday, January 11, 2019 before Judge Daniel.