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Driver In Deadly Short Hills Mall Carjacking Gets Life In Prison

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- The getaway driver convicted in the carjacking and fatal shooting of a Hoboken attorney at The Mall at Short Hills has been sentenced to life in prison.

Basim Henry was convicted in the death of 30-year-old Dustin Friedland in March.

Prosecutors say Henry, 36, confessed that he drove three men to the mall so they could steal a vehicle in December 2013. They say one of the men shot and killed Friedland after a struggle and the suspects then ordered Friedland's wife to get out of the couple's Range Rover.

Video from the mall shows a sport-utility vehicle driven by Henry leave the garage, followed by Friedland's Range Rover. The Range Rover was recovered in Newark the next day behind an abandoned house.

Friedland – an attorney from Hoboken – was at the Short Hills Mall with his wife in part to celebrate dinner.

As CBS2's Jessica Layton reported, Friedland's widow, Jamie Friedland, gave an emotional victim impact statement that cut through the courtroom.

"Our lives stopped that day, and we've had to learn how to restart it every day since. Even though three years have passed, even though the world moved on, even though I fight to move on, I don't," she said. "There isn't a day that goes by that I'm not affected or reminded in some way about the horrific tragedy of December 15, 2013. Each day, multiple times a day, something happens that reminds me just how fragile I am, just how much I've been through, and just how much I continue to overcome. There isn't a loud noise that I can hear, there isn't a dark parking structure I can walk by, there isn't a mall that I go into that doesn't make me uneasy, jump or bring me right back to that night, that moment, that unbelievably horrifying moment where my world was stopped.

"You changed the course of my life that night. You changed everything," Jamie Friedland continued. "Your intentional decision. It wasn't just someone's car: It was someone's life. You stopped my life that night. You did real, lasting, permanent damage, and I have fought really hard to take my life in a different direction, an unplanned, unprepared-for direction every day since. It's very real, it's very painful, and it's a daily struggle, no matter how much time has passed."

Henry did not react as Jamie Friedland delivered her statement. In fact, there were times he was caught smirking and the judge called him out on it.

"You're standing there smiling at me," Judge Michael Ravin said to Henry at one point. "No reason to believe your criminal behavior and the threat you pose to society will ever end."

Henry was the first of four men to be tried in Dustin Friedland's carjacking and murder.

During his trial, defense lawyer Michael Rubas argued Henry wasn't responsible for the shooter's actions, but prosecutors said Henry "knew force was necessary" to get the vehicle.

"First degree, purposeful and knowing murder -- I sentence you to state prison for the rest of your life," Judge Ravin said as he pronounced the sentence.

Prosecutors called the sentence fair. But there is no sense of satisfaction for the broken Friedland family.

"No relation of victory for us - Dustin will never be with us again," said the victim's mother, Rose Friedland. "And at the end of the day, there will be two mothers without their sons."

Trial dates for the other three men have not been set.

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