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NJ Man Gets 50 Years For Murdering Ridgefield College Student

Ernest Williams, of Montclair, N.J., was sentenced to 50 years in prison in the fatal shooting of Brian Schiavetti, 21, of Ridgefield, three years ago in New Jersey. Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Essex County Prosecutor's Office
In his senior yearbook, Brian Schiavetti wrote about all the fun times he and his friends shared at Ridgefield High School. Photo Credit: Ridgefield High School Yearbook

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. — The 24-year-old New Jersey man found guilty of shooting and killing a college student from Ridgefield three years ago was sentenced Monday to 50 years in prison, according to .

The mother and brother of 21-year-old Brian Schiavetti, were in the Newark, N.J., courtroom for the sentencing and spoke of the pain since his murder.

Ernest Williams Jr. was convicted last month in the July 2012 shooting death of Schiavetti in a Montclair, N.J., apartment building. Schiavetti, a student at Villanova University in Philadelphia, had gone to Williams to purchase oxycodone pills.

Williams' defense lawyers had said he was acting in self-defense, but prosecutors said he executed Schiavetti as he tried to flee. Williams stole at least $400 from Schiavetti and shot him twice, including a fatal shot to the back of the head, as the Ridgefield man fled the apartment building.

According to, Williams told the Schiavetti family he was sorry, saying, "If I could go back in time, I'd change it. Hopefully, y'all forgive me one day."

Williams must serve about 42 years and six months before becoming eligible for parole and will receive credit for more than three years of time already served, said.

Superior Court Judge Carolyn Wright said Schiavetti and his friend were "wrong to succumb to experimental and recreational drug use," according to But Wright said Williams "took full advantage of those weaknesses and exploited them" to lure Schiavetti to Montclair and into the apartment building to rob him, said.

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