January 15, 2014

Not Guilty Plea Entered by Maltz In Superior Court at Trenton

Eric D. Maltz pleaded not guilty last week to causing the death of Rabbi James Diamond when his speeding car struck Mr. Diamond and another man on Riverside Drive on March 29, 2013. Mr. Maltz, 21, was arraigned January 7 in Superior Court in Trenton. He has been charged in a three-count indictment that he recklessly caused the rabbi’s death.

The indictments include one count of first degree aggravated manslaughter, one of second-degree death by auto, and one of fourth-degree assault by auto. Mr. Maltz, who lives on Braeburn Drive, is currently free on $100,000 bail and is scheduled for a status conference in court on March 6, according to the Mercer County Prosecutor’s office.

It was around 9:40 a.m. on March 29 that Rabbi Diamond, 74, and Rabbi Robert Freedman, 63, a former cantor at the Jewish Center of Princeton, were leaving a Talmud study group at a home on Riverside Drive. Rabbi Diamond was getting into the passenger side of a parked Toyota Prius when a BMW driven by Mr. Maltz crashed into the front of an unoccupied Toyota Camry parked in front of the Prius. The impact pushed the Camry into the Prius, where Rabbi Freedman was in the driver’s seat.

Rabbi Diamond was thrown from the car and died at the scene. Rabbi Freedman was taken to the trauma center at Capital Health Medical Center and later released. Mr. Maltz, who was traveling at a rate of speed between 60 and 80 miles per hour, was also taken to the trauma center and released. He was later transferred to Trenton Psychiatric Hospital.

Mr. Maltz had struggled with mood swings and depression and had previously been treated at University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro. He was driving with a propane tank in his vehicle, according to witnesses at the scene.

If convicted of the first-degree offense, Mr. Maltz could face a maximum sentence of 30 years in state prison, according to Mercer County Prosecutor’s office spokesperson Casey diBlasio.