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Hasbrouck Heights repeat offender cuts deal, reduces prison term in East Rutherford gun case

Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter
Photo Credit: Courtesy EAST RUTHERFORD PD
Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter

ONLY ON CVP: A Hasbrouck Heights ex-con with a long criminal history and repeated probation violations pleaded guilty to armed robbery this week, reducing his prison time for being caught with a gun by throwing his co-defendant under the bus.

In exchange for a straight 18-month prison sentence, Jaren Stun agreed to testify against Serafin Fernandez if the charges against him go to trial.

Fernandez and the 36-year-old Stun, also known as “Jay Bird,” were arrested by East Rutherford police following a November 2012 chase that forced a school lockdown.

Serafin Fernandez (MUGSHOT: Courtesy EAST RUTHERFORD PD)

Officers recovered a .357 handgun reported stolen from Pennsylvania, which they said was used in the robbery of a borough resident. Stun dropped it during the pursuit, they said.

Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Edward Burke agreed to waive the 3-year mandatory minimum Graves Act prison sentence as part of Stun’s plea deal.

Stun also must serve 18 months for several probation violations.

In one case, he was arrested for drug possession. In another, he was charged with criminal trespassing, resisting arrest, shoplifting and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Stun admitted that he also failed to report to his probation officer at least seven times and violated a provision to remain drug-free — testing positive for marijuana and cocaine — no fewer than six times.

Stun said he and Fernandez went to the victim’s home on Nov. 5 intent on robbing him of guns or money — but first stopped at the home of a third man and got a gun.

Police from Hasbrouck Heights, East Rutherford and Wallington converged on the John Street area before 7 a.m. that day on a call of two suspicious men in the neighborhood.

Spotting the officers, Stun and Fernandez took off, police said at the time.

Jared Stun (STORY / PHOTOS: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter)

Fernandez was grabbed almost immediately. Stun, meanwhile, dropped the gun as he fled, police said.

During the incident, police went to the McKenzie School two blocks away and put it into lockdown.

Detectives quickly identified Stun and arrested him at his home.

Both men were to have gone to trial earlier this month.

Stun’s criminal record stretches back more than a decade and includes convictions in Bergen, Morris, Passaic and Sussex counties for assault, criminal trespassing, weapons, burglary, narcotics, arson, theft and obstruction of government operations.

He remains free on $30,000 bail out of Bergen County and $20,000 bail out of Sussex County for charges there.

He pleaded guilty to first-degree armed robbery with force, second-degree possession of a handgun to use unlawfully against another and possession of a handgun without a carrying permit.

In turn, five other counts against him were dismissed — theft of the gun; hindering prosecution by discarding the weapon in an attempt to conceal it; theft of a 1997 Honda Civic; obstruction of government operation by flight; and a “certain persons” weapons offense of possession of a gun after a felony conviction.

Sentencing was set for Sept. 19.

STORY / PHOTOS: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter

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