A Union County jury has returned a guilty verdict against a man who assaulted a Lyft driver and a passenger before carjacking the vehicle in April of 2019, Union County Prosecutor William A. Daniel announced today.
Farrakhan Howard, 30, of Bloomfield, was found guilty on Wednesday on one count each of first-degree carjacking, first-degree attempted murder, second-degree aggravated assault, third degree aggravated assault, third-degree unlawful possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and fourth degree unlawful possession of a weapon, following a four-week trial before Union County Superior Court Judge Thomas K. Isenhour. The jury deliberated for approximately 8 hours before returning its verdict.
At approximately 1 a.m. on the morning of Wednesday April 24, 2019, Clark Police Department patrol units responded to the area of Westfield Avenue and found a 47-year-old man bleeding from stab wounds and cuts to his head, face and neck, according to Assistant Prosecutors Izabella Wozniak and Alex Pecora who prosecuted the case. Officers from the Rahway Police Department soon after located a 20-year-old woman who was also suffering from stab wounds to her head and scratches to her neck, Wozniak and Pecora added.
Testimony presented during the trial revealed that Howard was in the male victim’s Lyft vehicle with the female passenger. At some point during the trip, Howard assaulted and stabbed the female victim. At that point, the Lyft driver stopped the vehicle to help the female and Howard stabbed him several times before carjacking the vehicle. Both victims were able to escape before being located by Clark and Rahway officers. Howard drove off and was eventually arrested and charged after crashing the victim’s vehicle in Woodbridge.
Sentencing has been scheduled for December 16, 2022, before Judge Isenhour at which time Howard can face a term of up to 30 years in State prison, of which he would be required to serve 85% of that sentence prior to being eligible for parole under the State’s No Early Release Act (NERA).