Newark cop Jovanny Crespo charged in fatal 2019 shooting found guilty

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Wednesday, July 5, 2023
Newark cop charged in fatal 2019 shooting found guilty
Jovanny Crespo, the NJ officer who opened fire on a fleeing vehicle, killing the driver, has been found guilty by a jury.

NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- A former Newark police officer who opened fire on a fleeing vehicle during a 2019 chase, killing the driver, was found guilty of all charges on Wednesday.

Officer Jovanny Crespo was found guilty of Aggravated Manslaughter, Aggravated Assault, Weapons Offenses and Official Misconduct. The verdict came after several days of deliberation following a lengthy trial.

Crespo appeared visibly shaken as the verdict was read and then slumped in his chair.

It happened on January 28, when 35-year-old Andrew Dixon and 46-year-old Gregory Griffin were stopped by an officer in the area of Clinton Avenue and Thomas Street.

Griffin allegedly pulled away when an officer spotted a handgun in the vehicle, prosecutors say.

A number of police cars gave chase, with Crespo firing shots at three separate locations while running alongside the car.

Both men in the car were shot in the head, and Griffin died the next day. Dixon was seriously injured but survived.

Crespo was caught on video during the incident.

On Monday, a judge rejected a defense motion for a mistrial after it was discovered a juror had prior knowledge of the case.

Prosecutors say Crespo's actions were reckless when he jumped out of a moving police cruiser on three separate occasions to fire at the fleeing vehicle.

Crespo said he saw guns in the vehicle, but other officers said the car's tinted windows prevented them from seeing inside.

Crespo could face life in prison.

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