A New Jersey man serving a 12-year sentence in the 2010 beating death of Indian-American computer scientist Divyendu Sinha, lost his appeal in a New Jersey Appellate Court Aug. 7.
Five youth were convicted and sentenced in the case. Steven Contreras, who was the driver of the car that took the teenagers to the scene of the crime, was sentenced to 12 years. He appealed for reprieve on grounds the sentence was too harsh and that he should have been allowed to withdraw his guilty plea. The court rejected his appeal.
Sinha, who died 3 days later from a brain hemorrhage, as a consequence of the June 25, 2010 beating just yards from his home on Fela Drive, in Old Bridge, N.J., was taking a walk with his wife and two small sons when they were assaulted by four youth.
In 2014, Contreras, who witnessed the beating from the car in which he had brought the assailants, was convicted and sentenced. He is serving his sentence in the Garden State Youth Correctional Facility in Yardville, N.J., will not be eligible for parole until 2020, .according to mycentraljersey.com.
Others sentenced in the case were Julian Daley, 15 years, Christopher Conway, who pleaded guilty, 7 years, Cash Johnson and Christian Tinli, just 6 months each for simple assault on the two little sons of the Sinhas.
According to the account Contreras provided to the police, the five youth had been drinking and smoking marijuana and all “heated up” wanting to get into an encounter of some kind. After one road-rage incident, they drove around looking for victims and came upon the Sinha family. The computer scientist was boxed repeatedly on the head and died later at the Robert Wood Johnson hospital. The two little sons suffered minor injuries. Sinha’s wife was not hurt.
The appellate court in denying Contreras’ appeal said his arguments “are without sufficient merit to warrant discussion,” MyCentralJersey.com reported.