A Union County jury has returned a guilty verdict on the sole charge filed against a man who fatally struck a 12-year old child in Union and fled the scene in July of 2019, Union County Prosecutor William A. Daniel and Union Police Director Daniel Zieser jointly announced today.
Jose Marrero, 39, of Kearny was found guilty Friday on one count of knowingly leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, a second-degree crime, following a week-long trial before Union County Superior Court Judge Robert Kirsch. The jury deliberated for less than an hour before returning its verdict.
Just before 8 p.m. on July 17, 2019, Union Police Department patrol units responded to a report of a pedestrian being struck by a vehicle in the area of Forest Drive and Galloping Hill Road, according to Assistant Prosecutors Scott Peterson and James Brady who prosecuted the case. There, they found an unresponsive 12-year old child, Jeremy Maraj of Union, who was rushed to University Hospital in Newark. He succumbed to his injuries two days later.
At trial, the State revealed that, at the time of the accident, Marrero was driving his work vehicle, a 2016 Nissan NV200 Cargo Van, when he struck Maraj on the shoulder of Galloping Hill Road. Witnesses to the accident testified that Marrero didn’t stop and fled the scene. Video surveillance obtained from the area and parts from the van recovered at the scene ultimately led Detectives to Marrero, Peterson and Brady said.
Sentencing has been scheduled for Friday, June 10, 2022 before Judge Kirsch, at which time Marrero can face a sentence of up to ten years in state prison.