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Man involved in rabbi's 2013 car crash found not guilty by reason of insanity

Princeton resident Eric Maltz was found not guilty in the Mar. 28, 2013, car crash that killed former Center of Jewish Life director Rabbi James Diamond, The Times of Trenton reported.

Superior Court Judge Robert Billmeier ruled that Maltz, 22, was legally not guilty for reasons of insanity at the time the crash occurred, according to the Times. He had been charged with first-degree aggravated manslaughter, death by auto and assault by auto and had faced up to 30 years in prison.

Maltz was committed to the Trenton Psychiatric Hospital, and Billmeier will reevaluate Maltz next month and every six months following, according to Deputy First Assistant Prosecutor Doris Galuchie, who was quoted by the Times.

Galuchie, Billmeier and Maltz's attorney Robert Lytle could not be reached for comment.

Had Maltz been found guilty, Galuchie said he could have undergone the re-evaluations — which are called Krol hearings — throughout his incarceration, as well.

Galuchie noted that Billmeier could choose to release Maltz from the psychiatric ward at any time, at which point he would have to face a civil commitment hearing. She added that if Maltz is deemed not mentally fit for society after 40 years, he will have to undergo the civil commitment hearing, according to Planet Princeton.

The crash occurred when Maltz drove a BMW at a high speed into a parked car. After hitting the car, a Camry, the BMW pushed the Camry approximately 500 feet into a parked Prius.

Diamond, who was 74 years old, had been entering the passenger side of the Prius and was struck and thrown away from the car. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sometime before the crash, Maltz’s family had called police to report that Maltz was “acting out.” Soon after the car crash, police stated Maltz had a history of mental health issues.

During the police home visit, Maltz told police that he was on medication for mood stabilization and depression. Previously, he had attempted to harm himself with a knife, according to a police report obtained by the Times.

Diamond was appointed director of the Center for Jewish Life in 1995 and retired in 2003.

The driver of the Prius, Rabbi Robert Freedman, also sustained severe injuries.

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