Crime and Safety

Family of slain NJ teen Moussa Fofana outraged after killer gets 15 years in sweetheart plea deal

The man convicted in the fatal shooting of a New Jersey teenager last year was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Wednesday — as part of a controversial plea deal that was slammed by the victim’s family.

Loved ones of slain 18-year-old Moussa Fofana had wanted gunman Yohan Hernandez, 21, locked up for at least 30 years over the June 2021 shooting that also wounded a 17-year-old boy.

“We didn’t get justice at all,” the victim’s mother, Hawa Fofana, told a local outlet after the sentencing. “Because 15 years, to me, that’s not justice for my son.”

Hernandez, of Newark, was originally charged with murder in the killing of Moussa, a student on the soccer team at Columbia High School who was gunned down on an athletic field outside the Underhill Sports Complex.

Prosecutors said Hernandez told police he was acting in self-defense when he shot Fofana, reported CBS New York.

Hawa Fofana
“Because 15 years, to me, that’s not justice for my son.” said the victim’s mother, Hawa Fofana.
Bebe Fofana/Instagram
Moussa Fofana and his mother Hawa
Fofana wanted the suspect to face 30 years for his heinous act.
Bebe Fofana/Instagram

In September, a judge allowed Hernandez to plead guilty to a lesser charge of aggravated manslaughter, along with counts aggravated assault and a weapons’ charge — despite the victim’s family saying that the proposed punishment was too lenient.

They asked for a sentence of 30 years to life for Hernandez, but Essex County Superior Court Judge Ronald Wigler green-lit the plea agreement carrying the much shorter prison term, saying that families “should never, ever, ever equate a number to the value of their loved one.”

In court Wednesday, Hernandez appeared stone-faced and refused to say anything to Fofana’s relatives, or even acknowledge their presence, according to ABC 7 New York.

Yohan Hernandez
Yohan Hernandez was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Wednesday.
Essex County Prosecutor’s Office

Hernandez’s behavior in the courtroom prompted the judge to concede that the defendant did not seem to feel any remorse, the report said.

He will be required to serve at least 85% of his prison sentence, or almost 13 years, before he’s eligible for probation. The judge told him that he will likely face deportation after that because he is not a US citizen.

Yohan Hernandez
Hernandez told police he was acting in self-defense when he shot Fofana.

Yohan Hernandez
Hernandez pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of aggravated manslaughter.

Yohan Hernandez
The suspect gunned down the victim on an athletic field outside the Underhill Sports Complex.

The victim’s grief-stricken mom previously described her son as her best friend and said he had big dreams of becoming a professional soccer player and buying a house for his grandmother in her native’s Liberia.

With Post wires

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