Christopher Poole sentenced: NJ Bloods street gang member who fatally shot dead, Newark man, Rasheed ‘O.J.’ Olabode gets life in jail.
Rasheed ‘O.J.’ Olabode, 27, was seen in surveillance video pleading with Christopher Poole out of shooting him in broad daylight on April 26, 2018, N.J.com reports.
Poole, 26, of Newark, fired anyway, prosecutors said.
Poole who ran with the Bloods street gang was convicted in Superior Court of Essex County of first-degree murder and weapons offenses in Olabode’s slaying. Superior Court Judge Ronald Wigler sentenced Poole to 10 years for one weapons offense that will run concurrently with the life sentence.
Olabode, who immigrated to Newark from Nigeria, was gunned down while his two friends sitting in a car watched, Essex County Assistant Prosecutor Jason Goldberg told the court.
‘The only mistake that appears the victim made was going to relieve himself in front of the wrong person,’ said Goldberg. ‘And that simple, simple act – something that every single person does, every single day – was enough in the eyes of Mr. Poole to execute a man, shoot him in the heart as he prayed and tried talking his way out of it.’
Goldberg shared with the court Olabode’s photography, which captured day to day life of Newark streets. Olabode’s family overseas was unable to come up with the funds to make it to court for the sentencing, Goldberg said.
Wigler remarked on Poole’s ‘utter lack of remorse’ before handing down his sentence. He said Olabode did not deserve to be ‘executed’ simply for urinating behind a car.
‘This was certainly one of the most – if not the most – senseless murder cases that I have presided over and been involved with,’ Judge Wigler said.
Raised in a rough neighborhood:
Poole’s two sisters and a deacon from his grandmother’s church asked for leniency from the judge.
‘I know his heart,’ said his sister. ‘I know that this isn’t the person that he wanted to become.’
Poole’s grandmother raised him in a ‘rough neighborhood’ without a ‘silver spoon,’ his sister said. He dropped out of West Side High School and has been unemployed his entire life, the judge said.
His first run-in with the criminal justice system occurred when he was 15. Poole was arrested 15 times in adulthood and had three prior felony convictions, the judge said.
Poole was out on probation for just a month on a second-degree theft conviction when he murdered Olabode. It remained unclear he had been part of the Bloods street gang.
He must serve a minimum of 85 percent – or 63 years – of his sentence before he is eligible for parole under the state’s No Early Release Act.