Prosecutors say a New Jersey man has pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter in the beating death of his mother, whose body was found in a car left for weeks in the parking lot of the pizza shop where he worked as a deliveryman.
Burlington County prosecutors said 54-year-old Brian Templeton entered the plea Thursday in exchange for a recommendation of a 25-year prison term.
Authorities said a worker at the Courtyard Apartments complex in Edgewater Park contacted police in November and asked them to check on 77-year-old Doris Templeton, who hadn't been seen in more than two weeks. Her body was found in her son's vehicle Nov. 12 at the Willingboro pizza shop.
An autopsy determined that Doris Templeton died from blunt force trauma to the head. Prosecutors said they believed she was killed in her apartment on or about Oct. 24, and the defendant then put her body in a chest, loaded the chest into his car and drove to the shop.
Police said Templeton, who had been staying with his mother at the complex, was interviewed there, and detectives reported that the residence smelled like a decomposing body, the Courier-Post reported, citing an affidavit of probable cause. Prosecutors said he hadn't used his car containing the body to make food deliveries.
Templeton is scheduled for sentencing Oct. 23. Under the terms of his plea agreement, he will not be eligible for parole for more than 21 years, prosecutors said.