An 88-year-old man from Ocean County has been sentenced to a decade in state prison on an aggravated manslaughter charge.

Thomas Hatchett, 86, of Manchester Township. (NJ DMV)

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer says Thomas Hatchett of Manchester Township was sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty in connection to the death of his landlord back in 2019.

Billhimer's office says,

On July 1, 2019, Manchester Township Police Officers were summoned to a Manchester residence by a 911 call in reference to a male victim lying face down in the street in front of a residence. Officers found Igal Hedad, 71, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, bleeding from his head with gunshot wounds to his back. Mr. Hedad was pronounced dead at the scene. The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Regional SWAT Team responded to assist. The SWAT Team made entry to the house and found it to be unoccupied. Investigation revealed that the resident of the home was Thomas Hatchett. Further investigation revealed that Hatchett had previously maintained an address in Verona, New Jersey...Verona Police Officers located Hatchett and transported him to police headquarters...It was thereafter determined that Hatchett was the individual responsible for Mr. Hedad’s death. Hatchett was subsequently arrested and charged without incident, and has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since the date of his arrest.

In a press release, Billhimer said, "Hatchett committed a brutal and senseless act on July 1, 2019. For all intents and purposes, given this defendant’s advanced age, the prison term imposed by Judge Collins is tantamount to a life sentence. Hatchett will most likely spend the balance of his remaining days exactly where he belongs – behind bars."

Hatchett will be required to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence before he may be considered for parole eligibility.

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