WILKES-BARRE — A Hazleton man pleaded guilty in Luzerne County Court on Friday for his role in the beating death of another man during what Hazleton police said was a drug deal.
Mitchell Dedes, 18, of West Hemlock Street, pleaded guilty to third-degree murder, robbery and kidnapping before Judge Richard Hughes.
Dedes will be sentenced Oct. 9, Hughes said. He could face up to 25 to 50 years in state prison, said assistant district attorneys Joseph Zola and Mamie Phillips.
City police and county detectives say Dedes and Breon Judon, 20, of North Lafayette Court, Hazleton, set up a deal to sell crack cocaine to Aaron Reznick, 29, of Hazleton, on Aug. 4, 2012.
Reznick did not have money but offered his iPhone to Dedes and Judon as collateral, authorities said.
Dedes and Judon blamed each other for causing fatal injuries to Reznick.
Dedes allegedly told investigators Judon pulled a gun after Reznick gave them the cellphone and became angry after he realized the phone was broken. Judon then ordered Reznick into the trunk of a car they occupied, according to court records.
Judon’s statement claimed Dedes became upset after Reznick told him he did not have any money. Dedes pulled a gun and demanded Reznick give him the phone, according to this version of events, then ordered Reznick to strip and get into the trunk.
Reznick was found unconscious in the road near 10th and Carson streets just after midnight on Aug. 4. He died nine days later at Lehigh Valley Hospital. An autopsy revealed he died from multiple blunt force trauma to the head.
Judon is scheduled for a pretrial hearing on Sept. 3 on charges of criminal homicide, kidnapping and robbery.