Dear Supporters of Sinha Family and Community Members:
Namaste. Here is the summary of 2nd day of trial of Dr. Divyendu Sinha’s Murder Case.
This week there are three court dates: April 19 and 20 (Thursday, and Friday).
Next week Trial dates are: April 24, 25, 26, and 27 (Tuesday to Friday.)
Dr. Divyendu Sinha’s younger son, Ravi is expected to take stand on Friday, 4/20.
Time is from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM with one hour lunch break, usually from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM. If you plan to attend, either arrive by 8:45 AM or 1:15 PM at court room #501. Also keep 10 minutes for security check. Please call me at732-754-1727 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org , if you are coming.
The attack on the Sinha family occurred on the night of June 25, 2010 around 11:20 PM. Dr. Sinha died of head injuries on June 28.
Attackers who were indicted by a Grand Jury are: Steven Contreras 18, Cash Q. Johnson, 18, Christian M. Tinli, 19, Christopher Conway, 18, and Julian C. Daley, 17.
While Steven Contreras is being tried separately, trial of the remaining four defendants will tentatively start on July 10.
Trial Day 2, Tuesday, April 17, 2002
The trial started late at 9:40 PM as one juror was delayed in traffic and one juror expressed inability to continue because of personal issues unrelated to the case. An Alternate Juror had to be sworn in.
Judge: Bradley Ferencz (BF)
Asst. Public Prosecutor: Christopher Kuberiet (CK)
Defense Attorney: Hassen Abdellah (HA)
Defendant: Steven Contreras (SC)
State vs. Steven Contreras Prosecutor File #2010-2581 Indictment: 10-11-01628
Dr. Divyendu Sinha (1961 – 2010)
Mrs. Alka Sinha Steven Contreras
Following Witnesses took stand and were cross examined.
1. Carmen Marino (CM), a friend of Steven Contreras (SC)
2. Dr. Jamie Uy (pronounced Wee), (JU) a neighbor of Sinha family
3. Patrol Officer, Timothy Snee (Frist Responder) (TS)
4. Police Officer Kryzenski (KK)
5. Casey Raymond (CR), a friend of one of the accused, Julian Daley who was with all the defendants behind the school and at Wendy’s
6. Denise Bruno (DB), Registered Nurse in the Emergency Room at Raritan Bay Medical Center (RBMC), Old Bridge
7. Dr. Korapati Reddy (KR), Emergency Room Physician at Raritan Bay medical Center, Old Bridge
8. Joseph Suozzo (JS), next door neighbor of Sinha family
Witness Carmen Marino:
Carmen Marino lived in Old Bridge at the time of this assault. He is friends with all the defendants and went to school with them. He is a childhood friend of SC.
He had a number of text message and phone conversions with SC the night of the attack and the day after. However, he was evasive about what he knew about the deadly assault on Divyendu Sinha. He claimed that he had no firsthand knowledge of the attack and that he never discussed it with SC. However, his very first text message to SC was – You did good that you did not rat on others. He also said that SC was remorseful. Assistant Public Prosecutor, Christopher Kuberiet (CK) asked him if SC was remorseful for what had happened to the Sinha family or because of the trouble he was in.
He could not explain it. His standard response to several questions from CK was, I do not remember and I do not know why I wrote that. It was clear that he was coached to lie and present SC as a sweet, good person.
Defense Attorney Abdellah (HA):
Was SC was remorseful for what happened and that he could not do more to stop his friends (from attacking)? CM answered in affirmative.
Though there are a number of calls, some of them may not have been answered.
Being a bystander is not a crime.
Witness, Dr. Jamie Uy:
CK asked about his qualifications. JU lives at 31 Fela Dr. since 1997, three houses down from Sinha family. He is an MD, working as anesthesiologist at New York Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn. I have been practicing since 1982. His two sons are close friends of Ashish and Ravi, Divyendubhai’s sons.
CK asked him if he remembered June 25, 2010.
JU- Yes, very clearly. My son Chase, got a call from Ravi, Sinha’s younger son. It was an urgent call, so my son and I ran in my pajamas to the corner of Raven and Fela. Not knowing what kind of emergency it was and knowingDivyendu was diabetic, I grabbed a pack of juice. I was there in 30 sec. – one minute.
CK: What did you see?
I saw that Alka was sitting on the curb and Divyendu’s head was on her chest with her arms around him. Divyendu was slumped towards left and he appeared very lethargic. I heard the story as I spoke to Alka. I knew it was a neurological problem, not diabetic when I asked Divyendu and he was incoherent and his speech was slurred. His breathing was shallow. I checked his pulse on the left hand; it was OK. His left arm was weak. In my mind, it was some sort of a neurological issue. I conclude it was not a hemorrhagic shock. I called 911 and told them that I was a doctor. I do not remember whose phone it was. My wife’s car was only 20 feet away and running so I told them that if they could not come fast, I could take Divyendu to the hospital. I so not know who came first, the Police or the EMS.
Alka and I were trying to keep Divyendu awake. He was closing his eyes. He was slurring so I could not understand, unless it was a Hindi word. He was drooling on the left side.
I told Alka to go to Raritan Bay Medical Center (RBMC) as it is only mile and a half from our street. They interviewed Divyendu and took him in the ambulance. I told my wife to bring Ravi (younger son) to our home so he could sleep at our home. One of Mrs. Suozzo’s sons, Andrew was there. Ashish was with him. Suozzos live next door to Sinhas.
I rushed home, changed and went to RBMC to be with Alka and Divyendu.
CK: What did you see?
JU: I saw a significant deterioration in Divyendu’s condition. If I were to guess he was an 8 or 10 on Coma scale. (3 is the worst condition indicating deep unconsciousness and 15 is the normal condition- GGV from Wikipedia.) His eyes were closing, no verbal response and no limb movement- he was near coma.
At RBMC, I observed that nurse was giving him medicine to stabilize his blood pressure; I informed the nurse that there was increasing intra-cranial pressure. He was heading towards cardiac arrest so they incubated him with ventilator breathing.
Then, they were arranging to transfer him to Robert Wood Johnson (RWJ) hospital in two to three hours. I stayed with them till they left for RWJ then went home to freshen up and rushed to RWJ.
CK: What did you see?
JU: Divyendu was on mechanical ventilation. He was not moving, probably under sedation. I was there to support Alka. Things at RWJ were moving slowly, I talked with an intern and knowing I was a doctor, he showed me Divyendu’s catscan. There was a 9×6 cm., fist size hemorrhage in the middle of the brain. There was a shift in the brain’s position.
Defense (HA): When you rushed to Divyendu Sinha, you did not take your medical bag with you? JU: No.
HA: You did not take a flash light with you to check his eye movement? JU: No.
HA: You took juice for Divyendu because you knew Divyendu was diabetic? JU: yes.
HA: Did you ever treat Divyendu for Diabetes? JU: No.
HA: You did not give any medical treatment to Divyendu at RBMC, right? JU: No, I didn’t. I do have privileges at RBMC.
HA: You should know medical history before giving medicines, right? JU: Yes.
HA: Was Divyendu incoherent? JU: Probably.
HA: You could not understand Divyendu because he spoke in Hindi? JU: He was speaking in single syllables (with slurred speech) , so I could not understand him.
Witness Patrol Office Timothy Snee (TS):
Mr. Kuberiet with the Police Officer
Courtesy: Patti Sapone/Star Ledger
With Old Bridge Police Department for last seven years. In Law Enforcement for 13 years.
On June 25, 2010, he was on 10 PM to 6 AM shift. At 11:42 PM he received a dispatch. He was about three miles from the scene of attack in uniform and in a marked car. I drove without siren as I was given description of the suspect’s car- a dark color Honda or Toyota. I did not see it. It took me six to seven minutes to reach the scene. As I was pulling in, EMS came in.
CK: What did you see?
TS: I saw a group of six-seven people at Raven and Fela. Mr. Sinha was lying in the street with his wife holding him up. I asked what had happened directly to Mr. Sinha. He did not respond. There was no expression on his face. He had swelling and bruising on the right side of his face and he was drooling. I did not observe any injuries on Alka Sinha. His son, Ashish answered my question. He described that three African American and one White person followed them; they ignored those persons. They (pretended) to ask a question and then started punching them. Ashish described the car. Ashish said he was punched on the left side but bruise was on the right side. There was blood from his mouth. Ravi was hit on the back of his head.
Ashish recognized one of the attackers as Julian Daley (JD). They were in the same school.
CK: How much time passed between the time you came to the crime scene and you got JD’s name?
TS: 12 minutes. I went to JD’s house at 27 Morningside Dr., which was 1.2 miles from Raven and Fela.
JD opened the door. I asked him where he was. He said that he was at Wendy’s before coming home. JD identified drive of the car as Steve (without last name), a Hispanic. He said that SC lived in South Old Bridge, 6 miles from Fela Dr. JD said that the car was 4 door blue Honda. Then I asked for his parents and they came down. I informed them that their son was identified as one of the attackers, that there would be a follow up and he might be arrested. I spent about 10 to 15 minutes at JD’s house.
CK: Were you aware of Divyendu’s condition?
TS: No, I was not.
Then I went to Adelphi Court where officer Krezincky (KK) was investigating a criminal mischief with a motor vehicle. I saw a red vehicle with a damaged hood.
Based on KK’s description of the incident, I was able to identify other attackers. I was able to connect the two incidents. Originally they had attacked the (red) car but the driver was able to escape and they continued to assault the others.
That car was driven by Anthony Martino (AM) and was owned by Mr. Martinaz. It was KK’s job to follow up on this.
JD was not cooperative. He was not under the influence of anything.
Defense (HA): Who gave you the description of the car? TS: Dispatcher, not Sinha family.
CK: How did the dispatcher know car’s description?
TS: Through 911 call.
Asst. Public Prosecutor, Christopher Kubereit, Judge Bradley Ferencz and Defense Attorney, Hassen Abdellah
(Courtesy: Patti Sapone/Star Ledger)
Witness Police Officer Kerensky (KK):
KK is with Old Bridge Police Department for last nine years. Before that he was with Piscataway Police for 10 years.
On June 25, 2010, KK was on 4:30 PM to 2:30 AM shift. He was in a marked police car and in uniform.
At 12:08 AM he was dispatched to Mr. Martinaz’s home on a complaint from AM. It was a 2003 Mazda Miata. I called Officer TS because I thought these incidences were connected as names of Julian Daley, Christian Tinli and Chris Conway were common in both the incidences. AM confirmed that Chris Conway had thrown the object at the car.
Defense (HA): You could not see the damage to the car at night, right?
KK: No, I could. I had my flash light.
Witness Casey Raymond:
Lives at 15 Valley View Dr., Old Bridge with her parents. She is 17 years old and is in the 11th grade.
On June 25, 2010 at 9:30 PM she went to Grisham School there were four of her girlfriends. She had walked to the school. At that time none of the boys were there. The defendants came after 15 to 30 minutes. Saul Lopez was there but he left after a while.
Julian Daley, Chris Conway, Cash Johnson and Steven Contreras were there. They had made plans to meet there. She had known JD for a year and others for lesser time.
CK: What happened then?
CR: The boys were drinking.
CK: Did you drink?
CK: Did SC drink?
CR: No, he was driving.
CK: How long they were drinking?
CR: about 15 minutes.
CR: Some of us walked back, some went with SC. I overheard Christian Tinli and Cash Johnson. It was about fighting someone. Christian Tinli wanted to mess somebody up. He said, he wanted to F.. Somebody up. I was four to five feet away from them. SC, JD and CC were not nearby.
SC, JD, CT and I left in SC’s car and went to Wendy’s. I was inside for about 10 minutes. I was sitting next to JD. Five boys were drinking between 11:10 and 11:20 PM.
JD, CT, CJ, CC left with SC. I did not see which way they went as they did not stop to say goodbye. I left at 11:45 PM and walked home.
CK: Did you see them that night again? CR: No.
At 11:50 PM I received a Text message from JD. I got a call from Nicole, Michael Martinaz (MM)’s girlfriend. MM is my neighbor. I went over there. I saw the car. It had a hole in its hood and windshield was cracked. Then I texted to JD (because Christian Tinli was with him) asking him what had happened?
JD had asked me for MM’s telephone # before I went over there. After coming home, I texted JD asking what had happened? He did not respond.
Defense (HA): She spoke with police on June 29, 2010.
SC did not say beat, murder someone, right? CR: Right.
Was SC polite, courteous? CR: yes.
HA: Did you feel intimidated by the 26 page document given to you (her interview with the police on June 29, 2010)?
CR: No, I did not.
There was a testy contention on the use of word rambunctious (boisterous). CK insisted that it was used by CR in her interview to describe the defendants. HA insinuated that she never used that word and that police had put it in her mouth. Eventually, it became clear that CR indeed had used that word on her own.
Witness Dennis Bruno:
He is a licensed RN at RBMC. He was on duty on the night of June 25/26. 2010.
Divyendu Sinha was brought by ambulance at 12:10 AM.
CK: Did you receive his medical history?
DB: I received it after the EMT put him in hospital bed.
CK: What was his condition in your assessment?
DB: He could not move. His eyes could not look. His pupils did not respond to (light). He was attaché to Oxygen, IV and heart monitor. His blood pressure was 199/91, heart rate 79 and blood sugar was 282. It was a Cod e Stroke.
CK: What is Code Stroke?
DB: Code Stroke gets priority for catscans, X-rays, blood and urine work for a potential of stroke.
I noticed Dr. Reddy. Patient was throwing up; there were signs of decreased consciousness. We raised his bed to 30 degree angle to promote drainage. I gave blood pressure medication.
We arranged for transportation to RWJ hospital.
Triage nurse had taken medical history of Mr. Sinha.
CK: You had no firsthand knowledge of what had happened at Fela Dr.?
DB: No, I did not.
DB: At 1:15 AM, Divyendu became unresponsive.
Defense had no questions.
Witness De. Korapati Reddy:
Physician at RBMC. Has license in NJ for last 14 years. Practicing medicine for more than 30 years. He is ER Physician. Treats on average 20 patients in one shift in ER.
On the night of June 25/26, 2010, he was on 7:00 PM to 7:00 AM duty.
At 12:05 AM, the triage nurse triaged Divyendu first. She took his vital signs, medical history and assigned him a proper bed. Patient’s wife gave details of medical history. Divyendu was lethargic and incoherent- I could not get information from him.
I ordered Catscan, X-ray and EKG and complete lab.
There was paralysis of the left side.
CK: How is it determined?
KR: You have no power on that side of the body.
KR: EKG and Lab were normal. But patient’s condition had deteriorated.
Catscan of brain revealed six mm. midline shift 9large amount of blood moves brain to the opposite side, i.e., to the left.)
JFK Medical Center (Edison) declined to take the patient based on his condition. I spoke with Dr. Tinti at RWJ, She agreed to take the patient.
My preliminary diagnosis was intra-cranial bleed contusion on the right side and left hemophagia (left paralysis.)
CK: Was there risk involved in transferring the patient to RWJ?
KR: Yes. It could get worse or even cause death.
Defense had no questions.
Witness Joseph Suozzo:
Lives at 23 Fela Dr. (next door to Sinha family). 18 years old, a senior in high school.
Had no personal knowledge of the incidence. He knows JD from 7th grade, CJ from 5th grade, CC since 7th grade and CT from 8th grade. More friendly with CC and JD. He was on the same wrestling team with CC. Played football with JD. CC and JD have been to his house a couple of times but never in presence of Sinha family members.
Defense had no questions.
We know that the whole society, Indian Americans as well as Americans are with her in her quest for justice. Please also visit our web site www.divyendusinha.com; you may also leave your thoughts there.
You may also see newspaper reports at: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/04/tearful_widow_of_old_bridge_ma.html and
Please forward this to your contacts and encourage them to attend the trial.
Gaurang G. Vaishnav
Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA)
Indian American Defense League (IADL)
Disclaimer: This is a synopsis of court hearing based on notes taken by me. Not all communications are captured and while I attempt to be as accurate as possible, there may be legal points that could have been missed or misinterpreted.- Gaurang
Court Address, Directions and Parking Information:
Middlesex County Superior Court
56 Paterson Street, Fifth Floor (Judge Ferencz’s Court Room)
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-2014
The court is on the fifth floor. Look for the Judge Bradley Ferencz’s court room (Go to the Right from the elevator).
Paid Parking (very reasonable rates) is available at several locations.
Ferren Deck on Church Street is most convenient, as you can access the court house by following signs (third floor) from the parking deck itself.
For GPS and MapQuest directions to Ferren Deck, use
180 Church Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901 or click here.
(If you are coming off Rte. 18 and going South on Rte. 27, Turn left at light for Nelson St., then first right on Church St. Go through one traffic light and one stop sign and turn right into Ferren Deck parking. Access to the Court House is from the third floor with clear signage.)
On street parking with meters is available but very difficult to find. For free on street parking, one has to walk several blocks; it is generally available on side streets off Livingston Ave., west of Suydam Street (15-20 minutes’ walk).
If you care coming by train (NJ transit), it is only five minute walk from the New Brunswick station. (Across Rte. 27/French St., enter Feren Mall and go to third floor, follow signs for Middlesex Superior Court.)