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Authorities: Ocean County Tenant, 88, Admits Killing Landlord Over Rent

Thomas Hatchett
Thomas Hatchett Photo Credit: Ocean County Prosecutor's Office

An 88-year-old from New Jersey man will spend the rest of his life behind bars for killing his landlord, authorities said. 

Thomas C. Hatchett, of Manchester pleaded guilty on Friday to aggravated manslaughter in the shooting death of Igal Hedad, 71, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, according to Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer.  

They had a disagreement about rent, authorities have said. 

On July 1, 2019, Manchester Township Police Officers responded to a 9-1-1 call about a man lying face down in the street. Police found Hedad bleeding from his head with gunshot wounds to his back, Billhimer said. He was pronounced dead near Hatchett's retirement community condo, Billhimer said. 

Verona police located Hatchett and he subsequently was arrested without incident. He has been held in the Ocean County Jail ever since his arrest.

Hatchett faces a state prison term of 10 to 30 years when he is sentenced on Dec. 18 by Superior Court Judge Michael T. Collins. 

“This was really a senseless act of violence," Billhimer said. “Any sentence Judge Collins decides to impose will amount to a life sentence given this defendant’s age. Hatchett will spend the rest of his life behind bars, and deservedly so." 

Senior Assistant Prosecutor Meghan O’Neill handled the case. 

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