ONLY ON CVP: Three defendants in the “reckless accidental” shooting death of a 22-year-old New Milford man behind a borough apartment complex drew closer to plea agreements this week.
Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Danielle Grootenboer said she’s made progress with the attorneys for Nicholas Questal ( above, left ) and Byron Sankar ( above, right ), both of East Orange.
Presiding Superior Court Judge Liliana DeAvila-Silebi also gave the lawyer for Aaron McMorris ( left ) of Hackensack until Dec. 1 to seal a deal.
All are under indictment in the Aug. 3, 2013 death of Alex Bridge, who authorities said was struck in the stomach with a bullet when a .9mm handgun that Sankar, 22, was holding went off.
McMorris, 23, was there and ran after Bridge was shot but then returned to try and help his friend.
For that, prosecutors have offered him probation in exchange for a guilty plea. He remains free on $75,000 bail.
Questal sold or gave Sankar the weapon, prosecutors charge.
A national of Trinidad and Tobago who works construction in New York City, Questal, 23, already has a federal drug conviction on his record. He remains in federal custody.
Sankar, meanwhile, remained held today on $450,000 bail, down from an original $1 million, on charges of first-degree aggravated manslaughter and illegal handgun possession.
Bridge was partying with Sankar, Sankar’s wife and McMorris outside the rear of the apartment complex when Sankar pulled out the handgun to show the others, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said at the time.
Sankar “handled the weapon in such a reckless manner that it discharged, striking the victim in the abdomen and resulting in his death,” the prosecutor said.
Bridge, who lived on Monmouth Avenue and worked at Norstrom, was taken to Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck after being struck once in the abdomen with the high-caliber bullet, law enforcement sources told CLIFFVIEW PILOT moments after the his body was found in the parking lot of the nearby New Milford Estates housing complex on Reichelt Road.
He died at the hospital, they said.
The gun was never recovered.
STORY / PHOTOS: CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter Mary K. Miraglia
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