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Newark man arrested for Hillside Murder

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

A Newark resident has been arrested this morning at Newark Airport after being criminally charged with shooting and killing a man in Hillside in July, Union County Prosecutor William A. Daniel and Hillside Police Chief Vincent Ricciardi jointly announced Wednesday.

Darrius L. Easterling, 30, is charged with first-degree murder, second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon and second-degree possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes in connection with the death of Steven Zimmerman, 31, of Hillside.

Shortly before 10 p.m. on Thursday, July 22, 2021, members of the Hillside Police Department responded to the 1400 block of North Broad Street and found Zimmerman at that location, who had sustained serious injury resulting from having been shot. He was subsequently pronounced dead, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Peter Benza, who is prosecuting the case.

An investigation led by the Union County Homicide Task Force and assisted by the Hillside Police Department, the Union County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Unit, the Union County Police Department Ballistics Unit, the Port Authority Police Department and the Department of Homeland Security Investigations, resulted in the identification of Easterling as the murder suspect and led to his eventual capture and arrest.

“We are grateful for the collaboration from the local and federal law enforcement agencies who assisted our Office in locating and apprehending the suspect,” Prosecutor Daniel said. “And we hope that this arrest can bring some small measure of comfort to all those grieving Mr. Zimmerman.”

Anyone with information about this matter is still urged to contact Prosecutor’s Office Sgt. Christopher Scuorzo at 908-472-0492, Detective Nora Berrio at 908-370-3016, or Hillside Police Department Detective Natalie Ogonowski at 732-540-2029.

Convictions on crimes of this nature are commonly punishable by terms of up to life in state prison.

These criminal charges are mere accusations. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.



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