One of five teens accused in the 2010 fatal beating attack of a New Jersey professor received a 15-year prison sentence Nov. 12 in New Brunswick Superior Court.
Earlier this year, Julian Daley pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated assault in the June 25, 2010 attack on Old Bridge, New Jersey resident Divyendu Sinha, 49 at the time of his death. The Sinha family was taking an evening walk in their suburban neighborhood when they were accosted by five teens, who allegedly punched Sinha until he fell to the ground, and then continued to kick him. Sinha died three days later of a massive brain hemorrhage.
Daley entered the guilty plea with Middlesex County, New Jersey prosecutors, agreeing to testify against co-defendants Cash Johnson and Christian Tinli in exchange for a lighter sentence of 15 years. Had the case gone to trial, Daley would have likely received a 30-year sentence. Daley must serve seven and a half years of his state prison sentence before he is eligible for parole.
In October, a jury found Johnson and Tinli not guilty of the murder of Sinha; each received a six-month sentence for simple assault on Sinha’s two teenage sons, who attempted to intervene in the attack on their father.
The case against Johnson and Tinli was based largely on the testimony of another suspect, Steven Contreras, who had confessed to driving the getaway car. Contreras also entered in to a plea agreement with the state, promising to testify against Johnson and Tinli.
But on the stand, Contreras defended his friends, saying it was Daley who delivered the blows. This contradicted his statements to police earlier, where he said Tinli had thrown the first punch.
Contreras was expected to receive a four-year sentence in exchange for this testimony, but Middlesex County assistant prosecutor Christopher Kuberiet has asked that the plea deal be thrown out, alleging Contreras lied on the stand.
Contreras has hired a new attorney who has filed a motion that Contreras was wrongly advised to plead guilty, Gaurang Vaishnav, executive vice president of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America, told India-West. New Brunswick Superior Court Judge Bradley Ferencz was expected to rule on the motion Nov. 15.
Sinha’s widow, Alka Sinha, spoke to India-West shortly after Daley’s sentence was announced and said she thought Daley’s punishment was fair, given the circumstances of the case.
“But there is no punishment that can say ‘I feel justice.’ The damage is so deep,” she added.
In court Nov. 12, Daley apologized to the Sinha family and his own family for the damage he has caused to each. But Alka Sinha she was not convinced of his sincerity. “He didn’t touch my heart,” she said.
Sinha, however, said she was very frustrated that Johnson and Tinli were found not guilty in the attack that killed her husband. “It is impossible for me to understand how the jury came to this decision,” she said tearfully, noting that no one has been convicted of murder in her husband’s death.
“It was an open-and-shut case. All the evidence was there that they killed my husband,” said Sinha, who attended court every day during Johnson and Tinli’s trial.
“My husband had a lot to offer society. No one had the right to take his life,” she stated.
Sinha was a professor at the City University of New York and at the College of Staten Island. The Indian American was also a consultant with Siemens Corporation and had written more than 50 research papers.
Christopher Conway, another suspect in the fatal beating, earlier this year pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter and conspiracy to commit aggravated assault; he received a sentence of seven years in prison and a fine of $5000.