NJ Man Who Killed Driver in Stolen Car Crash Sent to Prison
A young man who killed another driver while speeding from police in a stolen car in Middlesex County will be spending the next decade in prison.
Samuel Villar, of Franklin in Somerset County, pleaded guilty in June to first-degree aggravated manslaughter. The crash killed 33-year-old Freehold resident Arturo Tlapa Luna.
On Monday, the 21-year-old Villar was sentenced by Middlesex County Superior Court Judge Thomas J. Buck to 12 years in state prison, according to Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone.
Villar also was handed down a 10-year term to be served at the same time for four counts of second-degree aggravated assault and second-degree eluding.
Villar ran red light in stolen car
The early morning crash happened on Nov. 9, 2022, on Route 9 near the intersection with Spring Valley Road.
Luna was killed and surviving family members who were passengers were seriously hurt, when their vehicle was struck by Villar after he ran a red light just after 2 a.m.
Old Bridge police responded to the scene — Villar had been fleeing Marlboro police in neighboring Monmouth County, after a reported car burglary attempt when the crash happened.
In January, state authorities released video and police transmission audio from the incident, which has been under routine state review as it involved police.
Ring doorbell camera footage showed individuals trying to enter several vehicles parked at homes along a residential street in Marlboro, as another person drove slowly along in a different car.
A 17-year-old passenger was with Villar at the time, prosecutors previously said, in a vehicle that had been reported stolen a month earlier from New Brunswick.
Video clips released also show the moment where Villar ran a light, before hitting Luna's car.
Villar must serve 85% of his 12-year term before being eligible for parole — or just over 10 years.
Upon his release from prison, Villar would be on parole supervision for five years and his
driver's license would be suspended for two years.
Villar was a 2021 graduate of Franklin High School, according to online records.
Luna mourned by family, community
Luna was survived by his wife, two children and elderly father, who were all hospitalized after the crash.
A GoFundMe campaign that raised over $80,000 for the family remembered Luna as a “kind, generous, and loyal husband, father, brother, son, coworker, and friend.”
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