A couple from Brick township is headed to state prison for their roles in the death of a man who was beaten with a hammer and then set on fire.

48 year old Gregory Elk, of Brick, was sentenced Friday to 15 years, while his live-in girlfriend, 44 year old Susan Vasikonis, received a five-year term.

The Asbury Park Press reports Elk claimed he was coming to his girlfriend's defense when he repeatedly struck 37 year old Eric Pagan with a hammer, killing him.

Elk pleaded guilty last November to aggravated manslaughter.

Ocean County prosecutors say Pagan was at the couple's home to sell them heroin when he and Elk started fighting.  After Elk used a hammer to fatally beat the Ocean Grove man, he and Vasikonis drove Pagan's body to a rural area of Woodland Township and set it on fire.

Vasikonis pleaded guilty in December to desecrating human remains.

 

The Associated Press contributed to this story.