An Elizabeth man who acted as the getaway driver in a violent robbery that led to a prolonged police pursuit in December 2018 has been sentenced to 28 years in state prison for the crime, acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo announced Saturday.
During a Thursday hearing, Union County Superior Court Judge Robert Kirsch ruled that 37-year-old Quinn M. Latney must serve a minimum of 85 percent of the term before the possibility of parole, under the provisions of New Jersey’s No Early Release Act.
At approximately 10:40 p.m. on Sunday, December 30, 2018, Latney, driving a silver Honda Accord, transported an unidentified male passenger to the area of Canton Street in Elizabeth, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutors Jessica Guarducci and Alexandra Pecora, who prosecuted the case.
At that location, the passenger exited the vehicle and physically attacked an adult female victim outside of her home, striking her in the head and body while attempting to steal her purse. Unsuccessful, the suspect then returned to Latney’s vehicle and got inside, and the vehicle sped away while a neighbor of the victim came to her aid and called 911.
Elizabeth Police Department patrol units immediately responded to the area, with Sgt. Gerson Jean-Marie the first to locate the Honda and initiate a vehicular pursuit, which was later joined by Officers Eduardo Andino and Liam Kiniery. The pursuit stretched through six municipalities, with Latney continuously ignoring all police commands and driving erratically, before ending near the area of Concord Road in Scotch Plains – where Latney crashed into Kiniery’s car, after which he was immediately arrested. Officer Kiniery sustained an injury from the impact and subsequently received medical treatment.
Recovered from Latney’s car were a plastic toy gun, cell phone, wallet, gloves, a crowbar, a wrench, and wrapping from a second plastic toy gun, which was later recovered from the scene of the robbery in Elizabeth.
Key evidence presented during a trial that concluded in March included scientific evidence indicating that Latney’s DNA was found on several items recovered from his vehicle; testimony from the victim and the officers involved in the vehicular pursuit; and a recording of a phone call from the defendant to his girlfriend, during which he explained that he acted as the getaway driver for the robbery and described how he was apprehended.
The jury deliberated for approximately three hours before returning its verdict. Latney was eligible for an extended prison term due to the nature of the crimes for which he was convicted and his prior criminal history.
Sentencing in the case was delayed for several months after the New Jersey Judiciary Court System announced earlier this year that it was suspending most Superior Court proceedings indefinitely due to the continuing COVID-19 viral pandemic.