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Man guilty in crash that killed N.J. police officer

Jurors have convicted a man of vehicular homicide in a fiery crash that killed an off-duty police officer who was on his way home on Thanksgiving after working a drunken driving detail.

The panel in Ocean County also found 34-year-old Erick Uzcategui was impaired by alcohol and cocaine when he crashed into the back of 32-year-old Ocean Gate Officer Jason Marles on the Garden State Parkway in Toms River in 2010.

The officer’s vehicle crashed through a guardrail, overturned and burst into flames.

The Asbury Park Press reports Marles’ mother, Patricia Engrassia, yelled out, “Yes,” when the forewoman revealed the verdict on Thursday. Then she hung her head and wept.

Uzcategui faces five to 10 years in prison when he’s sentenced.

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