Jersey City man gets life sentence in state prison for murder of 81-year-old neighbor

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A Jersey City man was sentenced to life in state prison this afternoon for the 2016 murder of his 81-year-old neighbor, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez announced.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

This afternoon, Hudson County Superior Court Judge Patrick Arre sentenced Jeffrey Harley, 53, of Jersey City, to life in state prison for the February 6, 2016, murder of his neighbor: 81-year-old Lucila Cardenas-Viejo, Suarez said in a statement.

The life sentence is subject to the No Early Release Act which requires that Harley will have to serve 85 percent of 75 years — or 63 years and 9 months — before he is eligible for parole.

Arre also sentenced the defendant to 20 years in state prison for armed robbery, 10 years
in state prison for armed burglary and 18 months in state prison for unlawful possession of a weapon (knife) for a total of 31 years and 6 months to be served consecutively to the life
sentence.

The sentences for the armed robbery and armed burglary are also subject to the No Early Release Act.

During the course of the trial earlier this year, the state presented evidence that Harley killed his elderly neighbor inside of her home during an armed burglary and armed robbery.

Cardenas- Viejo was found lying unresponsive on the floor by Jersey City police officers who responded to the incident.

On May 9th, a Hudson County jury convicted Harley of two counts of felony murder,
murder, armed robbery, robbery, armed burglary, burglary, possession of a weapon for an
unlawful purpose (knife) and unlawful possession of a weapon.

He was acquitted on two additional weapons charges and several of the crimes for which he was found guilty were merged for the purposes of sentencing.

The state was represented by Assistant Prosecutor Leo Hernandez from the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office.