NEWARK, N.J. - The first defendant to be tried for a triple schoolyard killing that jolted New Jersey's largest city into addressing its crime problem nearly three years ago was convicted on all counts yesterday.
Rodolfo Godinez, a Nicaraguan who was one of six men and boys charged with the execution-style slayings, was convicted on all 17 counts of murder and related charges. A jury returned the verdict in state Superior Court after nearly four hours of deliberations.
The killings of Dashon Harvey, Iofemi Hightower and Terrance Aeriel spurred a wave of anti-crime measures in Newark, from jump-starting a surveillance camera project to expanding access to gun-trace data.
A fourth victim survived and testified against Godinez. She is not being identified by the Associated Press because of sexual-assault charges against two other defendants. All four victims were enrolled or about to be enrolled at Delaware State University, near Dover, Del.