An 88-year old Manchester Township resident, behind the murder of his landlord in 2019, is being sentenced to 10-years in prison following a previously entered guilty plea to Aggravated Manslaughter.

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer announced Tuesday that Thomas Hatchett's sentence by the Honorable Michael T. Collins, J.S.C, is subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act, which means he has to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence before he may be considered for parole eligibility.

The body of 71-year old Igal Hedad of Fort Lauderdale, Florida was found face down on a street in front of Hatchett's home on July 1, 2019 with blood on the road from a gunshot wound to the back.

Manchester Police and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Regional SWAT Team responded to the scene.

The SWAT Team entered the home and found unoccupied.

An investigation led police to the Verona home of Thomas Hatchet.

Verona Police Department were contacted and officers located Hatchett and transported him to police headquarters.

Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit Detectives and Manchester Police traveled to Verona where they interviewed Hatchett where they determined he was responsible for Hedad’s death.

He was arrested and charged without incident, and has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since the date of his arrest.

The Asbury Park Press reports that Hatchett said in court that Hedad wanted to move back into the home he rented and Hatchett to move out.

“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,” Prosecutor Billhimer said in the Tuesday statement. “Hatchett will most likely spend the balance of his remaining days exactly where he belongs - behind bars. Our hope is that this sentence affords the family of Mr. Hedad some level of peace and closure."

Ocean County Senior Assistant Prosecutor Meghan O’Neill handled the case on behalf of the State.


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