New Brunswick Man Convicted Of 2004 Murder

NEW BRUNSWICK — A New Brunswick man was found guilty today of murder and two weapons offenses for fatally shooting another city man to settle a dispute that occurred while both of them were serving prison terms for other crimes, Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan announced.

Following six days of testimony, a jury sitting in New Brunswick deliberated about two hours over two days before finding Brian Fowlkes, 34, guilty of murder, unlawful possession of a weapon, and possession of the weapon for an unlawful purpose in the May 22, 2004 fatal shooting, of Hassan Bass, 24.

Under New Jersey law, Fowlkes must be imprisoned for 30 years to life when he is sentenced on Sept. 24, in New Brunswick by Superior Court Judge Bradley Ferencz.

The conviction is the second for Fowlkes, who was found guilty in August 2005 of murder and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, but was granted a new trial by the Appellate Division of Superior Court in January 2010.

During the retrial that began with jury selection on July 30, Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Bina Desai argued that Fowlkes shot and killed Bass during their dispute, which began while both men were serving custodial terms at the Garden State Youth Correctional Facility in Yardville.

After serving their terms for unrelated aggravated assault convictions, the dispute continued and culminated when Fowlkes shot and killed Bass outside a fast food restaurant at George and Hassart streets in New Brunswick.

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