Suspects in fatal carjacking at NJ mall plead not guilty

(Clockwise from top left): Hanif Thompson, Basim Henry, Karif Ford, and Kevin Roberts

Essex County Prosecutor's Office via CBS New York

NEWARK, N.J. - Four men charged in the fatal carjacking of a Hoboken, N.J. attorney at an upscale New Jersey mall pleaded not guilty at their arraignment Tuesday, reports CBS New York.

Hanif Thompson, 29; Karif Ford, 31; Basim Henry, 32; and Kevin Roberts, 33, are all charged with murder, felony murder, carjacking, conspiracy, possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose.

Prosecutors said they were all involved in the deadly carjacking outside The Mall at Short Hills on Dec. 15.

“We’re not going to discuss who the shooter was at this time. However, we are satisfied of the roles each individual played,” Essex County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Fennelly said, according to the station.

Victim Dustin Friedland, 30, and his wife were leaving the upscale shopping center when they were confronted by two armed men as they were getting into their 2012 silver Range Rover on the third-floor parking deck, prosecutors said.

Sources told CBS New York that Friedland struggled with the suspects and was shot in the head. His wife was unharmed.

Friedland may have been trying to protect his wife, who was already in the SUV when the suspects put a gun to his head, sources told the station.

Friedland’s Range Rover was found the next morning at an abandoned and boarded-up house in Newark, about 11 miles from where the fatal shooting took place. Its rear windshield was shattered.

Prosecutors have said the couple was targeted because of their expensive vehicle.

The men, who were arrested in the days following the incident, are being held on $2 million bail. If convicted, all four suspects face life in prison.