AP NEWS

Honors student’s boyfriend admits killing drug dealer

January 4, 2019

FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) — The boyfriend of a community college honors student has pleaded guilty to shooting a marijuana dealer two years ago in a crime his girlfriend was also convicted of committing.

Joseph Villani pleaded guilty Friday to aggravated manslaughter in the death of Trupal Patel in February 2017. Patel’s body was found in Shark River Park in Wall Township.

A jury convicted the 22-year-old Villani’s girlfriend, Raquel Garajau, of felony murder last September. She is scheduled to be sentenced this month.

Villani had insisted Garajau played no role in the killing. But on Friday he said she helped plan the robbery of Patel and discussed cleaning up the crime scene afterward.

Villani is to be sentenced in March.

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Information from: Asbury Park (N.J.) Press, http://www.app.com

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