A man has been convicted in the 2018 killing of an emergency medical technician and freelance photographer in New Jersey after authorities said he targeted the victim because of his race.
Jurors in Monmouth County convicted 30-year-old Jamil Hubbard of Sayreville of murder Friday in the May 2018 attack on 56-year-old Jerry Wolkowitz near his Freehold apartment. The violence left Wolkowitz on life support for almost six months before he succumbed to his injuries.
Prosecutors said Hubbard told investigators that he had been sleeping in his car after a fight with his ex-girlfriend, and when he woke up he saw the victim walking nearby and decided to attack him because he was white. He said he probably would have left Wolkowitz alone if he was Black, authorities said.
Authorities said Hubbard punched and kicked Wolkowitz from behind, took his wallet and keys, dragged him into the parking lot and ran him over before fleeing in the victim’s vehicle. The Sayreville man was also convicted of bias intimidation, theft and motor vehicle theft, eluding and a weapons crime. He is scheduled for sentencing March 31.
Defense attorneys argued that Hubbard suffered from serious mental illness, including bipolar disorder, that prevented him from knowing what he was doing or appreciating its wrongfulness, but jurors rejected their plea for an acquittal on insanity grounds.
The Asbury Park Press said Wolkowitz worked as photographer, EMT and ambulance supervisor, and his work often appeared in the Asbury Park Press.
One of the victim’s sisters, Judy Marcus, speaking for the family outside the courtroom, called the case “a living nightmare for almost five years for all of us.” She praised the work of investigators and prosecutors that she said “gave us the ability to go on and end the nightmare.’’
Marcus said the ordeal was particularly difficult because both of their parents were Holocaust survivors and, for two years, while her mother was still alive, the family couldn’t bear to tell her that her son had been murdered, the Asbury Park Press reported.