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Fifth Person Convicted in NJ Schoolyard Murders

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A defendant was convicted on Tuesday in the 2007 execution-style killings of three college students in a Newark schoolyard.

An Essex County jury found Jose Carranza guilty of felony murder and robbery charges, but he was acquitted of charges that he sexually assaulted a young woman who survived the attack.

Carranza, an illegal immigrant from Peru, was free on bail in an unrelated case when the murders occurred in August 2007.

The verdict was returned Tuesday afternoon, a week after jurors began their deliberations.

The three friends who were killed died from gunshot wounds to the head. All four victims were either attending or planning to attend Delaware State University that fall.

Two co-defendants have been convicted and two others pleaded guilty. One testified against Carranza, while a sixth defendant is awaiting trial.

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