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Accused Carjack-Killers Of Toms River Native To Appear In Court Wednesday

From left, Hanif Thompson, Karif Ford, Kevin Roberts and Basim Henry have been charged in the fatal carjacking at The Mall at Short Hills. (Photos courtesy of the Essex County Prosecutor's Office)
From left, Hanif Thompson, Karif Ford, Kevin Roberts and Basim Henry have been charged in the fatal carjacking at The Mall at Short Hills. (Photos courtesy of the Essex County Prosecutor's Office)

Four men charged with the fatal carjacking of a Toms River native at a North Jersey mall just before Christmas were scheduled for arraignment in court on Wednesday.

It was not immediately clear, according to the Associated Press, who would be representing the four at their arraignments Wednesday morning in state Superior Court in Newark.

The four defendants charged in connection with the carjacking and murder of Dustin Friedland, 30, were to be arraigned at 9 a.m. before Judge Peter J. Vazquez, according to the Essex County Prosecutor's Office.

Hanif Thompson, 29, of Irvington and Karif Ford, 31, Basim Henry, 32, and Kevin Roberts, 33, of Newark were taken into custody last month. Thompson, Roberts and Ford were arrested in their New Jersey residences and Henry was arrested at a hotel in Easton, Pa. by federal agents.

All four men have been charged with murder, felony murder, carjacking, conspiracy and weapons possession.

The four men are accused of murdering Friedland at the Short Hills mall on Dec. 15 while he and his wife were carjacked for their Range Rover upon returning to their vehicle after an evening of shopping.

Friedland was fatally shot and pronounced dead at 11:45 p.m. Dec. 15 at Morristown Medical Center. Friedland's wife was unharmed.

Bail was set at $2 million for each defendant by Superior Court Judge Michael L. Ravin.

Services for Friedland, a Toms River native and Toms River North graduate who lived in Hobokenwere held last month in Lakewood.

The couple's Range Rover was the target—not Friedland—in the incident, Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray said at a press conference in Newark. Authorities declined to comment which man allegedly pulled the trigger.

The investigation revealed the four men were all in the parking lot the night of the killing with two leaving in the stolen SUV and the other two in the vehicle they arrived in, according to Murray.

The four men were arrested through a "combination of witnesses, statements, technology, old-fashioned police work and putting the pieces together," Murray said.

Murray declined to comment whether the four men were connected to a gang.

All four were arrested without incident Bail was set at $2 million for each of the defendants.

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