Man sentenced to 15 years in New Jersey teen’s death despite pleas from family

The man accused of killing a teenager in New Jersey was sentenced to 15 years in prison as part of a plea agreement.

Prosecutors say 21-year-old Yohan Hernandez shot and killed 18-year-old Moussa Fofana at a sports complex in June 2021.

Fofana’s family wanted Hernandez to get 30 years to life. They had previously begged the Essex County judge not to allow Hernandez to plead guilty to lesser prison time in the crime that shocked the community.

Even the judge in the case remarked Wednesday that Hernandez did not seem to have any remorse.

Fofana’s family had hoped to hear Hernandez explain why he pulled the trigger.

They left court without a sense of justice being served and they expressed sadness over the lack of accountability from Hernandez.

“When you asked him if he had anything to say to us, and he said he had nothing to say to us, he shot a whole human being, and today is the sentencing day, and for him to look at us and tell us he had nothing to say, that means he’s not sorry in the first place,” the victim’s mom Howa Fofana said.

Fofana, an 18-year-old junior at Columbia High School, was fatally shot at the Underhill Sports Complex in June 2021.

Hernandez, of Newark, was arrested later that summer and charged with murder, aggravated assault and other offenses.

In August, attorneys for Hernandez called prosecutors saying he was willing to accept responsibility for the murder, triggering plea negotiations that otherwise were not underway.

Fofana’s mother previously said her son loved playing soccer and dreamed of a career in the sport and being able to buy his grandmother a home in the family’s native land of Liberia. She called her son the golden child who was affectionate and his tragic death has left a deep hole in her heart.

Hernandez, who is not a U.S. citizen, was advised by the judge that he will likely be deported after he serves his sentence.

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