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First Defendant in Sinha Murder Trial Will Serve No Jail Time

Posted: May 19, 2012

One of the five teens charged with the 2010 fatal attack of a New Jersey professor will serve no jail time.

Steven Contreras, 20, was cleared May 7 of six of the 10 charges against him in the June 25 killing of Old Bridge, New Jersey resident Divyendu Sinha.

On the night of the attack, the 49-year-old Sinha, a computer engineer and professor, was walking with his wife and children in their neighborhood. According to court testimony, the assailants came up behind the family and began pummeling Sinha. His sons attempted to defend their father, but they were also attacked.

Sinha fell to the ground and the attackers kicked his body. He died four days later of a massive cerebral hemorrhage. According to court testimony, the assailants bragged about the attack on their social networks and via cell phone texts.

Contreras testified that he drove the getaway car, but did not physically assault Sinha or his teenage sons, Ravi and Aashish. The jury was hung on a count of “reckless manslaughter,” and Contreras may be retried this summer on that charge.

The other defendants, Cash Johnson, Steven Contreras and Christopher Conway, all 17, Christian Tinli, 18, and Julian Daley, 16, are facing murder charges as adults, and are also charged with two counts of aggravated assault for attacking Sinha’s boys. They have pleaded not guilty to the charges and are free on various bail amounts. They are expected to be tried this September.

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