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Friends, Community ‘Astonished’ as Judge Accepts 15-Year Plea Deal in Moussa Fofana Murder

A judge accepted a 15-year-plea offer for Yohan Hernandez in 2021 murder of Columbia High School trainee Moussa Fofana, in a hearing at the Essex County Courthouse in Newark on Thursday early morning.

Hernandez appeared in court prior to Judge Ronald Wigler, according toreports Before the plea offer was accepted, Moussa’s mom Hawa and daddy Yasshe pled Wigler not to accept the plea, and requested for a sentence of thirty years.

Referring to Hernandez, Hawa Fofana stated, “He and his group of friends…decided to come over there and take the law into their own hands. That’s murder,” according to an ABC7 News report. 

“A family should never ever equate a number to the value of their loved one,” Wigler stated.

“The judge’s comments were very disappointing,” stated Fred Profeta, a lawyer and previous Mayor of Maplewood who has actually been actively promoting for a strong sentence in the event. “He made no attempt to justify the brevity of the sentence. It’s just another horrible example of how the best justice system in the world can fail people miserably and leave them in agony.”

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Hawa Fofana at September 16 rally

Moussa Fofana was 18 years old when he was shot and eliminated at Underhill Sports Complex on June 6, 2021.

The teenager’s friends and family have actually spoken up versus the plea offer, asserting that Moussa’s moms and dads were not notified ahead of time nor provided the chance to supply any input.

The neighborhood held a rally recently and began a petition to oppose the supposed plea offer.

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Profeta, who assisted raise a $50,000 benefit in the event, composed in a letter to Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore Stevens on Wednesday that he was “astonished” by the reported plea offer. (See Profeta’s complete letter to Stevens listed below).

Profeta stated he sought advice fromAsst Chief Prosecutor Tom Fennelly prior to and after the arrest and was ensured the prosecution would “seek a just sentence.”

He composed in the letter to Stevens: “Because of this, I was astonished to learn that your office has agreed to recommend a 15 year sentence in exchange for a guilty plea by Hernandez. I was especially astonished because of the statement which Hernandez gave to law enforcement, admitting to the intentional murder of Moussa, amounting, in effect, to a confession.”

Profeta continued: “…your office raised the fact that Hernandez would be attempting to raise a self-defense argument on the alleged grounds that Moussa “took a swing” at Hernandez, triggering the latter to fire the deadly bullet. You understand the realities of this case, and the law, in addition to anybody. We both understand that reacting to a fist with a bullet does not make up self-defense, as a matter of law.”.

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Alluding to the 2014 murder of regional teenager Brendon Tevlin, in which Judge Wigler offered the killer got several life sentences without parole, Profeta prompted Stevens to reevaluate the 15-year-plea in the murder, “…which has brought such anguish to the towns of Maplewood and South Orange. And, of course, this anguish cannot compare to that experienced by Moussa’s mother, Hawa Fofana, and his entire family. Hawa’s grief is only magnified by this prosecutorial failure, made worse by the fact that she was never consulted by your office before you arrived at a deal with Hernandez, even though she has been represented by [an] attorney throughout.”

Read Village Green’s complete protection here.

Dear Chief Prosecutor Stephens:


I am a previous Mayor ofMaplewood I am a prosecuting lawyer accredited to practice inNew York You might understand of me by factor of my participation in developing a $50,000 benefit fund for info causing the arrest of Moussa Fofana’s killer. Moussa was a gifted and popular trainee at Columbia High School, and a leader in his sport of soccer


I compose this e-mail letter to oppose the 15 year proposed sentence for Yohan Hernandez, who has actually confessed that he purposefully shot and eliminatedMoussa Fofana The charge for this ridiculous criminal offense brings a sentence of thirty years to life in jail, and we recognize no genuine reason the charge must not fall within these criteria


I sought advice from Assistant Chief Prosecutor Tom Fennelly both prior to and after the arrest of Hernandez to acquire info about the case.Mr Fennelly understood of my high degree of interest since of the benefit effort. He was constantly very considerate and useful to me. He notified me that the district attorney appointed to this case is Jacqueline Balinkas, whom he referred to as a “bulldog” and somebody who was specific to look for a simply sentence for the killer. Because of this, I was amazed to find out that your workplace has actually consented to advise a 15 year sentence in exchange for a guilty plea byHernandez I was particularly astonished since of the declaration which Hernandez provided to police, confessing to the deliberate murder of Moussa, amounting, in impact, to a confession


Richard Pompelio, the victims’ rights lawyer representing Moussa’s mom, Hawa Fofana, has actually participated in 2 conferences with district attorneys Balinkas and Fennelly and others to discuss your proposed plea offer. You participated in the very first conference. I comprehend that your workplace initially tried to validate the suggested sentence on the premises that “juries are unpredictable.” True enough, however suffice it to state that any difficult district attorney, equipped with Hernandez’s confession of deliberate murder, must be confident to put that evaluation to the test


Next, your workplace raised the reality that Hernandez would be trying to raise a self-defense argument on the supposed premises that Moussa “took a swing” at Hernandez, triggering the latter to fire the deadly bullet. You understand the realities of this case, and the law, in addition to anybody. We both understand that reacting to a fist with a bullet does not make up self-defense, as a matter of law


The neighborhood of Maplewood and South Orange is outraged by the 15 year proposed sentence. I make sure that you have actually seen journalism protection in the Star Ledger and other media sources. Our demonstration at Maplewood Town Hall was well covered by the New York tv networks. We have actually distributed a “Justice for Moussa” petition, starting on September 13, which petition has actually currently amassed 1,361 signatures since this writing. You can see the petition on my Facebook page, and a printed copy of the signatures approximately 2 days back is connected


This case is appointed toJudge Ronald Wigler You no doubt keep in mind the case occurring out of the killing of Brendan Tevlin in 2016. That case was likewise appointed toJudge Wigler Tevlin was shot on Northfield Avenue in West Orange, by a complete stranger. As in this case, Tevlin’s killing was a ridiculous act of deliberatemurder And like Hernandez, Tevlin’s killer admitted to the criminal offense. But unlike the immediate case, that killer got several sentences of life without parole. He was explained by Judge Wigler as a “monster” and an “animal”, deserving to pass away in jail. How can you or any other skilled lawyer differentiate these 2 cases to the degree of validating the variation in the sentences which would happen if your suggestion is accepted?

I advise you to reevaluate your designated suggestion of just 15 years for Moussa” s dreadful murder, which has actually brought such suffering to the towns of Maplewood andSouth Orange And, naturally, this suffering can not compare to that experienced by Moussa’s mom, Hawa Fofana, and his whole family. Hawa sorrow is just amplified by this prosecutorial failure, intensified by the reality that she was never ever sought advice from by your workplace prior to you came to a handle Hernandez, although she has actually been represented by lawyer Pompelio throughout


Thank you for your factor to consider of this demand. The people of Maplewood and South Orange trust that your profundity will dominate in this matter


Very genuinely yours,.

Fred R. Profeta,Jr

Daniel Husband
Daniel Husbandhttps://petnews2day.com
I'm the editor for Pet News 2Day. I also a dog groomer for almost 5 years plus work along side my wife with her dog walking business too so I really understand the pet industry.

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