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New Jersey Man Seeks To Withdraw Guilty Plea In Slaying

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BRIDGETON, N.J. (AP) – A southern New Jersey man who fatally shot his ex-girlfriend to death has asked a judge to withdraw his guilty plea to aggravated manslaughter and arson charges.

A.J. Eldridge claims his attorney failed to have a psychiatrist evaluate him during the pretrial process.

The 34-year-old Bridgeton resident was due to be sentenced Friday to a 30-year state prison term. But that was put on hold while the judge reviews his request, which is being opposed by Cumberland County prosecutors.

Eldridge had previously raised the psychiatric issues at a court hearing in June before he pleaded guilty in the January 2009 death of 26-year-old Tara Hayes. She was gunned down inside a bathroom at her father’s Stow Creek home.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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