March 30, 2012
Randy S. James Jr. (DOB 10/16/89), formerly of Blackwood NJ, pleaded guilty today to first-degree robbery, admitting that he took cash from a taxi cab driver in Deptford Township NJ and slit the driver’s throat with a knife on June 10, 2010.
The driver, a 37-year-old Stratford man who had picked James up in Clementon NJ, survived the attack. He was hospitalized for five days in Cooper Medical Center, Camden.
Under a negotiated plea, Trial Chief Mary Pyffer of the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office will recommend that James be sentenced to 12 years in New Jersey state prison, pay restitution to the victim and have no further contact with him, undergo a psychological evaluation and comply with all prescribed psychiatric medication. James will have to serve 85 percent of the prison term before he is eligible for parole and will be subject to five years of parole supervision after his release.
Superior Court Judge M. Christine Allen-Jackson accepted the plea and scheduled sentencing for June 1. James remains in the Gloucester County Jail in default of $350,000 bail.
Before James entered his plea, Trial Chief Pyffer gave a psychiatric history of
James that dated back to his high school years and continued through his discharge from the U.S. Army in March 2010.
James, whose home address is now Providence Rd., Secane PA, affirmed the details Pyffer gave. James also was evaluated in jail by psychiatrists for the prosecution and defense, Pyffer said.
Although defense attorney Frank Trosky said James’ ability to communicate has increased dramatically now that he is on medications, Judge Allen-Jackson questioned him repeatedly to insure that he understood the court proceeding taking place.
After the robbery and knife attack in the Locust Grove section of Deptford, James fled and the victim radioed for help. An off-duty paramedic rendered first aid until an ambulance arrived. James was arrested at his Blackwood residence June 30, 2010 after investigators obtained information that made him a suspect.