TRENTON – Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced that a man was sentenced to 26 years in state prison today for shooting a relative in Camden in June 2009.
Kazmeck Hollingsworth, a.k.a., Darnel Drayton, 40, of Camden, was sentenced to 26 years in state prison, including more than 20 years of parole ineligibility, by Superior Court Judge Frederick J. Schuck. He was sentenced to an extended prison term of 18 years, with more than 15 years of parole ineligibility, on a charge of second-degree aggravated assault, and a consecutive eight-year term of imprisonment, with five years of parole ineligibility, on a second-degree charge of possession of a weapon as a convicted felon. Hollingsworth was convicted by a Camden County jury on March 8 following a two-week trial. Deputy Attorney General Kristen Harberg tried the case and handled the sentencing for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau.
Hollingsworth was convicted of shooting a man in the 3200 block of Westfield Avenue in Camden on June 28, 2009. The victim, a relative of Hollingsworth, survived the shooting. Hollingsworth shot the victim because the victim previously had confronted another relative of Hollingsworth over how that relative had treated a female cousin of the victim. Hollingsworth pointed the gun at the victim’s head and shot the victim multiple times in the torso and arm. The victim was 34 at the time. At trial, the victim denied that Hollingsworth shot him, but the jury, by its verdict, determined that he did.
“This case is a good example of the challenges we face in prosecuting violent crimes when victims and witnesses are either intimidated or hostile to authorities,” said Attorney General Chiesa. “Despite the obstacles presented, we’ve succeeded in taking a violent man off the streets of Camden for a very long time. I commend our prosecution and investigative teams for their outstanding effort in this matter.”
“The Division of Criminal Justice, Camden Police Department and Camden County Prosecutor’s Office have been working together very productively, both in major long-term investigations targeting narcotics networks and in individual cases involving drugs, guns and violence,” said Director Stephen J. Taylor of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We intend to continue this highly effective collaboration.”
The shooting investigation was led by Detective Gabe Rodriguez of the Camden City Police Department; Senior Investigator William Gonzalez of the Camden County Prosecutor's Office; Officer Craig Milbury, Detective Julio Rodriguez, Detective Robert Perkins and Detective Neil Long of the Camden Police Department; and Senior Investigator Steven Settles and Investigator Carlos Plaza of the Camden County Prosecutor's Office. Deputy Attorney General Harberg was assisted at trial by Analyst Terri Drumm of the Division of Criminal Justice; Sgt. William Townsend and Investigators Paul Audino, Jeff Dunlap, and Gary McBride of the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office; and Carmen Castillo and Kathi Whitman of the Victim Witness Unit at the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office.