OLD BRIDGE — Two more teens were arrested Thursday on murder and murder conspiracy charges in the death of Dr. Divyendu Sinha, a 49-year-old Old Bridge resident.
Four 17-year-old males and one 16-year-old male have now been charged with Dr. Sinha’s murder, Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan and Acting Chief Robert Bonfante of the Old Bridge Police Department said.
In addition, charges of aggravated assault and conspiracy to commit an aggravated assault were also filed Thursday against the five juveniles after authorities determined they were involved in a separate, unrelated altercation before they attacked and beat Dr. Sinha on June 25, officials said.
Tthe on-going investigation by Detective Greg Morris of the Old Bridge Police Department and Investigator Paul Miller of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office has revealed that these same five juveniles engaged in a motor vehicle chase with another motorist less than five minutes before they attacked Dr. Sinha, authorities said. In that alleged incident, the motorist, a caucasian male, was able to flee from the attack, which occurred on Prests Mill Road in Old Bridge.
Before the motorist escaped, the juveniles allegedly threw objects at the motorist’s car, which was damaged. All five juveniles are also charged with criminal mischief.
All five remain in custody, officials said. The two juveniles arrested Thursday, a 17-year-old and a 16-year-old, are scheduled to appear this morning for a preliminary hearing in Family Court before Superior Court Judge Roger W. Daley in New Brunswick.
Kaplan stressed that while the attack of Dr. Sinha appears to be random and unprovoked, particularly in light of the unrelated attack on the caucasian motorist only a few minutes earlier, a decision will be made on whether to file bias charges once the investigation is completed.
‘’The initial focus of the probe has been to determine who was responsible for the murder of Dr. Sinha,’’ Kaplan said.
‘’Now that five individuals have been arrested and charged, we will be making every effort to assess whether racial bias played a role in the attack and, if so, we will bring appropriate charges,’’ Kaplan said.
Once the investigation is complete, Kaplan will also consider whether to seek court permission to have the five juveniles tried as adults in Superior Court.
Under the law, the prosecutor’s office has 30 days to file the motion in Family Court and must show probable cause. Ultimately, the decision rests with a Superior Court judge.
Police began the investigation after receiving a call at 11:42 p.m. on June 25, and arrived to find Dr. Sinha had been beaten.
He was walking with his wife and two sons on Fela Drive in Old Bridge when the juveniles allegedly got out of a car and attacked Dr. Sinha and his two sons. No weapons were used in the assault. Dr. Sinha’s two sons sustained minor injuries, but his wife was not harmed. Additional assault charges will be filed, authorities said.
Dr. Sinha was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, where he died on June 28. An autopsy showed he died from a head injury.
The juveniles’ names are, by law, being withheld because of their ages.
Authorities are asking anyone with information about the case to call Detective Morris of the Old Bridge Police Department at 1-732-721-5600, or Investigator Miller of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at 1-732-745-4466.
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