Harrison man pleads guilty to 2007 fatal stabbing of Jersey City truck driver


A Harrison man pleaded guilty to a 2007 fatal stabbing of a Jersey City truck driver in Hudson County Superior Court yesterday.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Joel Esquijarrosa, 44, of Harrison, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault in connection with the August 24th, 2007 murder of Rafael Angel Aguero Espinoza in Jersey City.

The state will be recommending a sentence of 18 years in New Jersey State Prison subject to the No Early Release Act. Sentencing is scheduled before Hudson County Superior Court Judge Vincent J. Militello on Friday, April 8th.

On Friday, August 24th, 2007, Rafael Angel Aguero Espinoza, 50, was found dead inside the cabin of his tractor trailer, which was parked on Senate Place and Van Winkle Avenue in Jersey City.

The cause of death was later determined to be multiple stab wounds and the manner of death to be homicide. The investigation revealed the homicide was committed during the commission of a robbery.

On Monday, February 3, 2020, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office was contacted by the Harrison Police Department after Esquijarrosa was arrested in that jurisdiction on criminal
mischief charges.

Based on an investigation conducted by the Prosecutor’s Office Cold Case Unit, Esquijarrosa was charged in connection with the 2007 murder.

The state is represented in this case by Assistant Prosecutor Nicole Ghezzar of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office.

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