EHT man gets 60 years in deadly attack on Pleasantville couple

An Egg Harbor Township man was sentenced to 60 years in prison for a vicious attack that killed a Pleasantville man and left a woman with life-altering injuries.
Nicholas Abbati Jr. continued to deny his involvement in the deadly beating inside the Greenfield Avenue home Jahlil Hunter and Ebony Harris shared.
Harris’ brother found the couple bloody and unconscious on their living room floor Dec. 23, 2015.
Hunter, 30, died 11 days later. Harris, then 22, suffered brain injuries and is now blind in one eye.
“I’m not guilty,” Abbati said Friday, before Superior Court Judge Benjamin Podolnick imposed sentence.
He said that he was never given all the evidence in his case, and insisted that there were more witnesses and evidence that he could have presented in his defense.
Before the sentencing, Podolnick denied a motion for a new trial, in which attorney Mark Roddy said that a Google map search by Abbati’s sister found that his client was at the home for three minutes, which he argued would not have been enough time to commit the crimes.
Instead, Roddy said that it matched with Abbati’s testimony that he had stopped at the home just to pick up drugs from Hunter, who was his drug dealer.
Roddy also argued that, by dealing “mind-altering drugs” and living that life, the victims were partially responsible.
The judge said that stopped just short of victim-blaming.
“I don’t think the victims in anyway whatsoever induced or facilitated this commission,” Podolnick said.
He sentenced Abbati to 45 years for murder and an additional 15 years for attempted murder. Under the No Early Release Act, Abbati, 30, would have to serve at least 51 years before he is eligible for parole.
No one spoke on behalf of the victims or Abbati during the 1½-hour sentencing.

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