Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp announces that the Honorable Robert J. Gilson, J.S.C. sentenced Carlos Rojas, 24 years old, of North Bergen, New Jersey, to 30 years in New Jersey State Prison in connection with the August 2011 killing of Esteban Hernandez.
On October 30, 2014, Carlos Rojas was found guilty by a jury of Aggravated Manslaughter, a crime of the first degree; Kidnapping, a crime of the first degree; Disturbing, Desecrating Human Remains, a crime of the second degree; Possession of a Weapon for Unlawful Purposes, a crime of the third degree; Theft From a Person, a crime of the third degree; Theft by Unlawful Taking, a crime of the third degree; and Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution, a crime of the third degree.
This prosecution stemmed from an investigation into the death of Esteban Hernandez, who was found beaten to death in the trunk of a car on August 4, 2011 in a wooded area in Lincoln Park, New Jersey. The subsequent investigation would reveal that the victim had been killed in Fairview, New Jersey the previous day, August 3, 2011.
Judge Gilson sentenced the defendant to 30 years in State Prison. The Court imposed a 17 year period of parole ineligibility as to the charge of Aggravated Manslaughter pursuant to the No Early Release Act. This aggregate sentence of 30 years encompassed consecutive sentences for Aggravated Manslaughter, Disturbing, Desecrating Human Remains, and Hindering Apprehension.
Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Matthew Troiano and Assistant Prosecutor Justin Tellone represented the State during the prosecution of this matter.
Prosecutor Knapp stated, “This was an especially brutal homicide. The defendant has shown no remorse nor contrition for his acts, therefore, this sentence is certainly warranted. Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Troiano and Sergeant Brylinski did an exceptional job and are to be commended.”
Prosecutor Knapp would like to specifically thank the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, as well as the Lincoln Park Police Department, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office – Criminal Investigation Section, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, the Fairview Police Department, the North Bergen Police Department, the Union City Police Department, and the West New York Police Department.
Any inquiries can be directed to First Assistant Morris County Prosecutor Thomas Zelante at 973-285-6252 or [email protected].