The man accused of fatally shooting a drug dealer from Brick and leaving his body in a park pleaded guilty on Friday to aggravated manslaughter and other charges.

Joseph Villani, of Ocean Township, admitted shooting Trupal Patel, of Brick, in February 2017. Patel's 2003 black Jaguar was found abandoned on an Asbury Park street but an investigation determined he had been shot in Ocean Township. A Monmouth County park ranger found Patel's body while collecting trash in Shark River Park in Wall.

While Villani did the killing and body dumping on his own, prosecutors charged his girlfriend, Raquel Garajau, with murder. A jury in September found her guilty on all counts, including first-degree felony murder.

Texts about the murder were discovered on the phones of Garajau and Villani, prosecutors said. In the texts, Garajau reminded her boyfriend to "clean the bullets" and to bleach the crime scene in order to destroy and conceal evidence.


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