HACKENSACK, N.J. -- Mujahideen Abdullah will be 60 years old by the time his first opportunity for parole arrives for the cold-blooding killing of a popular Hackensack limousine driver on Route 80 four years ago.
A judge in Hackensack on Friday sentenced Abdullah, of Newark, to 49 years in state prison -- 85% of which he must serve before being eligible for parole -- for the June 12, 2014 shooting death of Jeffrey Mansilla on Route 80 in Saddle Brook.
Jurors previously convicted Abdullah, 28, of aggravated manslaughter, hindering his arrest and illegal weapons possession following a trial.
Loved ones and friends who waited a long time for justice -- among them, Mansilla's mother and brother -- made emotional statements before Superior Court Judge Frances A. McGrogan handed down the sentence.
The oldest of four brothers who grew up in Hackensack, Mansilla, 39, worked as a cab driver before launching All Access Car & Limo Company just a year before he was gunned down.
He was graduated from Holy Trinity School, and later, Bergen Technical School and Bergen County Community College. A music lover, he’d converted his father’s basement into a recording studio.
Thinking someone had looked at his girlfriend, Abdullah chased Mansilla's 2013 GMC Yukon from a nightclub in Belleville to Route 80 in Saddle Brook, prosecutors said.
There, they said, he opened fire from a silver Infiniti with a semi-automatic weapon.
Mansilla was hit in the hip with one of three shots that went through the driver’s side door of his luxury SUV near milepost 63.
The bullet passed through him, a law enforcement source with direct knowledge of the case told CLIFFVIEW PILOT at the time.
Mansilla steered off the highway, where a passenger took the wheel and drove him to Hackensack University Medical Center.
He was later pronounced dead at HUMC.
Investigators arrested Abdullah and his girlfriend, Jomaris Gonzalez, at their Newark apartment a little over a month later -- around the time that Mansilla had planned to be married to his girlfriend of four years in her native Moldova.
Gonzalez testified against Abdullah in exchange for time served.
Abdullah — also known as “Mu” and “Murollack” — remained held in the Bergen County Jail pending assignment to a state prison.
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