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Widow of 2013 Short Hills mall carjacking victim takes the stand at trial

NEWARK, N.J. — A trial for one of the four men accused of carjacking and killing a Hoboken attorney at the Short Hills Mall in December 2013 started Wednesday with an emotional testimony from his widow, Jamie Friedland.

Friedland recounted the horrifying moment to a jury of 16 people. She told them she watched her husband struggling with two men in the mall's parking deck at the rear of their 2012 Range Rover just after 9 p.m. The couple were celebrating their one year anniversary and just had dinner, Friedland said. They stopped at the Apple Store and Neiman Marcus before heading out.

Within a matter of seconds, shots were fired that shattered the back windshield of their car.

A suspect pointed the gun at her and told her to get out of the car, where her husband was on the ground in a pool of his own blood.

State prosecutors showed surveillance images of the couple holding hands and walking through the mall moments before the incident.

Basim Henry, 36, of South Orange, and his three accomplices were waiting by their car, prosecutors said. They claimed Henry drove the getaway car.

The defense argued Wednesday that Henry did not wrestle away Friedland's keys and he did not pull the trigger of the gun, so he should be exonerated of the murder and weapons charges.

They also attest that Henry fled as soon as shots were fired. He was arrested in Pennsylvania, waived his Miranda rights and divulged information to detectives in a subsequent interview. The State said they will play the tape of that interview.

The trial will resume Thursday.