Couple sentenced in NJ burned body case

February 2, 2013 11:29:06 AM PST
A southern New Jersey couple is headed to state prison for their roles in the death of a man who was beaten with a hammer and then set on fire.

Forty-eight-year-old Gregory Elk of Brick was sentenced Friday to 15 years, while his live-in girlfriend, 44-year-old Susan Vasikonis, received a five-year term.

Elk pleaded guilty last November to aggravated manslaughter in the death of Eric Pagan.

Ocean County prosecutors say Pagan was at the couple's home to sell them heroin when he and Elk started fighting. After Elk used a hammer to fatally beat the 37-year-old Ocean Grove man, he and Vasikonis drove Pagan's body to a rural area of Woodland Township and set it on fire.

Vasikonis pleaded guilty in December to desecrating human remains.