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Man charged in death of innocent NJ correction officer during police pursuit

Posted: 12:31 PM, Aug 30, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-30 12:39:37-04

NEWARK — A Newark man has been charged in the death of an innocent correction officer killed in a car crash by a driver fleeing from police on Saturday, police said Friday.

Dashawn Walton, 24, is charged in the death of Omar Martin, 49.

Dashawn Walton, 24, of Newark, was charged with first degree aggravated manslaughter in the death of Omar Martin, a veteran correction officer at Norther State Prison.

The crash happened at approximately 2:30 a.m. on Aug. 24 as a police pursuit moved from Hillside, N.J. into Newark.

A Hillside Police officer attempted to stop a Walton in his Nissan Altima, who was allegedly speeding. Officials say Walton then drove in the wrong direction down Aldine Street, a one-way street.

The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office says Walton collided with Martin, who was not involved in the chase, at the intersection of Bragaw Avenue in Newark.

Martin, 49, of Newark, was pronounced dead at the scene.

In addition to aggravated manslaughter, Walton is also charged with second degree eluding, third degree causing a death while in a motor vehicle collision while driving without a license, and second-degree vehicular homicide.

After the crash, the state’s Police Benevolent Association released an image of Martin, expressing their grief over their loss. “He dedicated his life to service and the protection of all our communities,”  the PBA said in a Facebook post.