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Defendant in Schoolyard Murders Gets 30 Years

Baskerville will have to serve 85 percent of his sentence

A Newark native who took part in the infamous 2007 slayings of three college students in a city schoolyard was sentenced Thursday to 30 years in prison, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office said.

Shahid Baskerville, 21, was found guilty of robbery and aggravated sexual contact. He must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence and will be under parole supervision for the rest of his life once he’s released.

Baskerville was a 15-year-old Morristown resident on Aug. 4, 2007, when he and five other males entered the playground at Mt. Vernon Elementary School. There they robbed and shot four people, killing Terrance Aeriel, 18, and Dashon Harvey and Iofemi Hightower, both 20. All three were students at Delaware State University.

The fourth victim, Natasha Ariel, 24, was shot and attacked with a machete but survived.

Baskerville is one of the last defendants to be sentenced. The final defendant, Gerardo Gomez, will be sentenced on Jan. 9, 2013 at 9:30 a.m.

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