LYNDHURST, N.J. -- An East Orange man got a break from a judge in Hackensack yesterday after he suggested that a man he stabbed with a box cutter in the parking lot of a Lyndhurst nightclub had it coming.
“Do you understand if [Eric] Burrell had died, you’d be going to prison for the rest of your life?” Superior Court Judge Edward A. Jerejian asked 22-year-old Malik Taylor.
“He was always bothering me,” Taylor responded. “I was always getting harassed by him, all the time, every time I see him -- he knows it hisself.”
Jerejian gave Taylor a stern look.
“Do you believe you were justified in stabbing him, multiple times?” he asked.
“Your remarks seem to indicate you’re trying to convince yourself you had the right to do what you did," the judge added. "From what I read, you weren’t defending yourself."
“It’s pure luck your victim didn’t die.”
Jerejian nonetheless approved the sentencing deal that Taylor's attorney worked out with prosecutors in exchange for a guilty plea to aggravated assault.
Moments earlier, Burell's mother told the judge that Taylor had “intent to kill” when he attacked her son with a box cutter the night of Oct. 8, 2014 at the packed Riva Blue nighclub on Riverside Avenue.
“He was in a lot of pain, he endured suffering. He lost a lot of blood and couldn’t go back to college," she said.
The injuries were so severe, Burrell’s mother told Superior Court Judge Edward A. Jerejian, that her son “couldn’t even help me or his father,” both of whom are in ill health.
He hasn’t fully recovered yet, she said.
Burrell was stabbed twice in the chest, puncturing a lung, and once just beneath his arm.
Defense attorney Anthony Iaculloa told the judge that Taylor "has apologized to your honor and the victims."
“I’m not going to second guess the state’s plea offer,” Jerejian told Taylor, "but I don’t think you get it.
"You’ll go to prison and, when you get out, hopefully you’ll have a new way of looking at things,” the judge said.
Restitution will be determined by the Victims of Crimes Compensation Board.
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