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Guilty Pleas For 2 NJ Slay Suspects Caught In Cuba

(Credit: Thinkstock)

(Credit: Thinkstock)

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MAYS LANDING, N.J. (AP) — Prosecutors say two former southern New Jersey residents have pleaded guilty in the slaying of a man whose body was found in a burning car nearly three years ago.

Atlantic County prosecutors announced late Saturday that 28-year-old Diane Camacho recently pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder and agreed to testify against her co-defendant, 51-year-old Denis Catania. The next day, Catania pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter.

Authorities said the former Voorhees residents fled New Jersey shortly after 23-year-old Ross Heimlich of Somerdale was killed. They first went to Florida, then traveled to various Caribbean countries and used falsified documents to enter Cuba, where they were apprehended in September 2011.

Another defendant, Damien Leo, 38, of Philadelphia, was arrested there in August 2011. He had pleaded guilty in May 2012 to manslaughter charges and had agreed to testify against Camacho and Catania.

All three defendants will be sentenced Aug. 22. Each had initially faced murder, kidnapping, arson and conspiracy charges in Heimlich’s death

Prosecutors have said the three conspired to kill Heimlich, whose body was found in September 2010 inside a burning vehicle. But a motive for the slaying has never been disclosed.

Authorities say Heimlich suffered blunt force trauma in the attack. His remains were identified through a forensic investigation that took several weeks to complete.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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